OBITUARY

Melvin D. McBee

August 19, 1927November 22, 2021
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Melvin Doyle McBee was born on August 19, 1927 in Fort Worth, Texas, the oldest of four children to Margaret and Clarence McBee. His siblings were Roland, Darlene and Wanda. Melvin attended the University of Houston where he studied Chemistry and played softball, even though the university did not officially have a team at the time. In 1945, he enlisted in the Army at the tail-end of WW2 and, because of his “science” background was assigned work in Psychiatric Wards in Battle Creek, Michigan and Los Alamos, New Mexico until he left the army. When he left the army his parents rented a house in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston. For entertainment, their next door neighbor hosted game nights with dominos and cards and Melvin would occasionally attend. While playing dominoes one night, Melvin noticed a beautiful woman on the porch swing outside. The neighbor’s niece, Ethel Allen, was visiting and wasn’t interested in playing the games. Melvin purposefully lost his domino game in order to go out and talk with her on the swing. The rest is history as Melvin and Ethel, aka Sandy as she preferred to be called, were married on December 20, 1947. Melvin returned to the University of Houston to receive his Masters. He and Sandy lived in old, condemned army barracks on the University of Houston campus when their first son, John Layne was born. He soon found a teaching job in Needville, TX where they moved. Not fitting into the predominantly Czech town, they returned to Houston where, while Melvin was out of work, their second child, Jane Allen, was born. Finally, a cousin of Melvin’s told him about a teaching job in Deer Park, TX. He was hired and they bought their first house on 2nd Street. At the time there were only two homes for sale in the suburb of Houston and, forever frugal and practical, Melvin bought the smaller of the two. Melvin taught school and "moonlighted" working at the nearby refineries as well as jumping in to drive the school buses across the ship channel. John and Jane remember being able to ride along at times.

Melvin found his passion teaching in the growing Deer Park School system and, eventually, moved up the ranks to become principal. Melvin’s time in Deer Park also saw the births of two more children, Mary Anne and Mathew Gerard and the adoption of Lorna Jean, Mark Sean and Elizabeth Erin. Melvin was recently honored as the oldest living principal of the Deer Park School System and was able to attend a ceremony in his honor thanks to his niece Susan McBee. In 1971, Melvin accepted a position as the Assistant Superintendent of Del Valle Schools, just outside of Austin, Texas. It was in Austin that the family continued to grow with the births of grandchildren Shera and Walter (Skeet) Reynolds, Elizabeth Anne and Karen Koop, Melanie and Jennifer McBee, Kellie and Kyle McBee, Jeff and Cody McBee, Claire and Emma Horner and, by marriage, Brett and Jason Bailey Cassandra, Cameron, Alex, and Cole Bailey. And, over the years the births of several great grandchildren: Isabella, Ryan, Grace, and Jennifer Nelson; Penelope and Porter Bosque, Jett and Jace Gordon, Jax McBee, Nolan & Jacob Meiwes and Emma and Eleanor McBee as well as Cassandra, Cameron, Alex, and Cole Bailey. Melvin retired in 1987 and continued to teach and enlighten all of us. Whether he was coming to the aid of a broken down car, picking up grandchildren from school, or helping care for neighbor's triplets, his compassion inspired us all and touched many, many lives. After the death of the love of his life in 2013, Melvin returned to Houston to live out his days with his daughter, Jane Allen Bailey, and at least a dozen cats, one of which--Porky, would sleep with him and ride around the house on his lap via his wheelchair. Melvin is survived by his youngest sister Wanda McShane and all of his children and their families with the exception of Lorna Jean Reynolds who passed away in late November 2021. We will miss him dearly but are happy he is reunited with his one true love, Sandy, our mother and Grandsandy.

Services will be held Wednesday, December 1, 2021 with visitation beginning at 11am, and a Rosary and Liturgy Service to follow at 12:00 PM, at Weed Corley Fish Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, 2620 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704. Interment to immediately follow at Assumption Cemetery.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.wcfishsouth.com for the McBee family.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Memories

Melvin D. McBee

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Haruka Yoshimori

December 1, 2021

I remembered a time when Melvin was a very caring man who welcomed anyone to his place. Even I had a difficult time during this year, he brought conversations that I feel more comfortable talking about and enjoyable topics to learn a lot about him. I appreciated his and Jane's kindness all the time.

Love,
Haruka

Alicia Whitaker

November 28, 2021

My memory of Melvin will always be his stories. I was honored to take Holy Communion to Melvin and Sandy when she was still with us. I was a new Eucharistic Minister … and I had my mentor Mac Ernest take me around to the Homebound parishioners to teach me. Say the Our Father, give them Holy Communion and leave to the next parishioner. No problem! Heheh Melvin, on my second visit by myself told me how to do it. I remember him saying … you sit here, we will sit here … and we pray and receive Holy Communion. Then, he said, we chat … heheh … and chat we did! So many stories they both shared about their children, grandchildren, exact dates of each birth … my Lord … they had the memory of an elephant! His 90th birthday celebration was beautifully done. Then it was time for Melvin to move. I was able to visit him once in Houston and his memory and story telling did not subside at all … and he always remembered my daughter’s name and asked about her. Melvin, you brightened up my day with your stories. Thank you for sharing your life with me in stories. I know you are resting in peace with Sandy by your side and the Lord.
My sincere condolences to the family.

Frank Shonka

November 26, 2021

I remember our neighborhood dinners at Shan Hu and for some reason dad and I sat next to each other for several meals. I remember a kind and considerate gentleman and with just a few of these conversations I felt a man with a good heart❤️. Jane, you should be proud of how you helped dad in his later years. One could not ask for a more loving daughter!

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