Charles Avon McKee Sr., 81, of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of Arab, Mo., passed away Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006, at 9:30 p.m. with his wife and children at his side. He had a short, intense struggle with cancer.
He was born Aug. 21, 1925, to Roscoe Millard and Clara Glasener McKee.
He was a 1943 graduate of Central High School. He later served in the Korean conflict, where he was awarded a Silver and two Bronze Stars for valor.
Mr. McKee was a 32nd Degree Mason, 56-year member of Zalma Lodge and Order of Eastern Star.
Due to his employment the family had lived in several states, moving back to Arab in 1986, where they purchased the store from the Rowe family which they later sold.
He and Shirley Rowe were married July 15, 1953, and were the proud parents of six children.
Besides his wife, he is survived by four children, Mary Clarissa (Jim) Meyer of Cape Girardeau, Charles Avon "Chuck" (Candace) McKee of Zalma, Mo., Cindy Melissa (Keith) Newby of Colorado Springs, and Capt. Millard Carlrowe (Rhonda) McKee of Honolulu.
Two of his saddest days were the deaths of his daughters, Kristy Shirissa Elliott June 21, 1999, and Terissa Avon McClelland July 6, 2004.
Also surviving are 11 grandchildren, Christa McKee (Lloyd) Stilts of Zalma, Jeane Meyer (Ismeth) Abbas and Dore Meyer (Chris) Simmons of Jackson, Jeff Elliott of Maryland Heights, Mo., Robb (Lindsy) McClelland of Advance, Josh (Laura) McClelland of Zalma, Emylia McClelland of Brownwood, Mo., Melissa (Kaz) Hayashi of Japan, Allison McKee of Hawaii, Sara Newby of Greeley, Colo., Luke Newby of Colorado Springs; and six great-grandsons, Daniel and Dakota Stilts, Bridon McClelland, Leyton Simmers, Jaylen Abbas and Kaito Hayashi; two sisters, Chris Lawson Englewood and Mary Helen Unnerstall of Colorado Springs; and a nephew, Jerry Lawson of Virginia.
In August 2005 Charles and Shirley were privileged to visit the Abbas family in India and Dubai.
At Charles' request, there will be no service, but later a family celebration of his life.
Charles loved his family so much and they returned his love. Be at peace, we will always love and remember you.