Theo James McKee
February 13, 2006
Funeral for Theo James McKee, 88, of Decatur will be Thursday (today), Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at Hartselle Heritage Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Brooks Barkley officiating.
Burial will be in Rock Creek Cemetery.
Mr. McKee died Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, at Decatur General Hospital. He was born Jan. 8, 1918, in Morgan County to James Harvey McKee and Nettie Eugenia Evaline Ryan McKee and grew up on the family farm.
He attended Rock Creek School through the sixth grade and attended Eva High School and transferred to the new Cotaco High School graduating in 1939. He attended Massey Business College in Birmingham.
After business college, Theo traveled to Louisville, Ky., and worked in the L&N Railroad Shops. In 1941, he worked briefly for AT&T Long Lines before being drafted into the U.S. Army at Fort McClellan on Jan. 23, 1942.
He arrived in England on Jan. 29, 1943, and became a member of the 4th Infantry Division, Company D (Clover Leaf Division). At 9:00 a.m. on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Theo's 4th Infantry Division landed by LST in the second wave at Normandy, France, later securing the Utah Beachhead. On July 19, 1943, near the town of Monte Bourg, France, he was severely wounded by a mortar shell. He was operated on in a field hospital and transported to England on July 1, 1944. After staying in several hospitals, he arrived by troop plane in New York on Oct. 25, 1944. Following therapy and continued healing at Welch Convalescent Hospital, Daytona Beach, Fla., he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on Jan. 29, 1945. His term of service was three years, seven days.
While in service, he received the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Ribbon, European Theater Ribbon, one Battle Star, French Campaign/Bronze Service Star and European-African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon.
After being discharged from service, he married Wanda Cloe Self McKee on March 5, 1945. He worked 10 years at the Alabama Hosiery Mill until it closed in 1956. Then he and his brother, Arvel, began building houses in the Decatur area. After retirement at age 62, he enjoyed fishing, gardening and later spending time with his grandchildren. He was a member of Rock Creek Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda Cloe Self McKee.
He is survived by one son, Steven James McKee and wife Susan Strickland McKee of Hartselle; one brother, Arvel Estus McKee and wife Eula Morris McKee of Priceville; two grandchildren, Dr. James Case McKee and fianc/e Beverly Formby of Birmingham, and Kelly Lynn McKee Meadows and husband Tyde Armstrong Meadows; one niece, Margaret Suzanne Densmore and husband Delano Turner Densmore of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; and a great-niece, Deborah Dell Densmore.
Pallbearers will be Kelly McKee Meadows, Dr. James Case McKee, John Scott McKelvy, Joel Van McKelvy Danny Ray Hightower and Kenneth Ray Wood.