OBITUARY

Ben McKee, Jr.

February 13, 1939November 20, 2020
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Wilbur Bennett McKee, Jr. (Ben) passed this past Thursday morning at his home. He died in peace in a home filled with family love for him and abiding love from his 50 year old parrot named Captain and a German Shepherd named Hannah. He died on the birthday of his deceased and only brother, Chuck McKee.

A graveside service will be held at 3:00 Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 3901 Forest Lawn Drive.

Ben was a well-respected businessman who retired as Vice President of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, now Lincoln Financial. He retired early to care for his disabled wife, Barbara Dixon McKee and her doctors often remarked that he was such a wonderful caregiver and advocate for her during a ravaging 10 year bout with progressive supranuclear palsy. He provided the best care possible to make her life better. Ben was also a real estate broker and enjoyed a long business partnership with his high school friend, Steve Schlosser and then with his son Ben, III in several retail operations including the Dollar Shoppe at Four Seasons Mall. At one time, he had a Bail Bonding business.

Ben spent many enjoyable times during his life with his son, Ben, III and family at his beach home in Oak Island where he loved fishing and boating and more fishing and boating! Ben was always athletic, hitting a baseball that would have gone over Yankee Stadium when he played third base in high school. He was also a N.C. State High School champion wrestler at Greensboro High School, now Grimsley. He loved golfing with his buddies and close friend Jim Griffin. He made me; his sister, promise that I would never say that he was an “avid” golfer, so I’ll just say that he loved golf! He also coached and played ball at Jefferson as well as coached Little League and Minor League balls.

He was an Army Veteran, and as an enlisted man, achieved the rank of Sergeant. After graduation from East Carolina University, Ben joined Jefferson Standard where he had the responsibility for the office services/purchasing departments. He headed up the United Way Campaigns for them as well as Junior Achievement. He was also in charge of the company’s club house where he and his family spent many happy times.

Ben was a real animal lover who always had dogs around him, usually German Shepherds, but somehow as cat sneaked his way into his heart. On the side of the busy highway I-85, there was a little orange kitten just standing there alone. Ben took the first exit to turn around and go back to pick him up. This was on the interstate between High Point and Thomasville, so he named the cat Hi-Tom. His parrot was a wild Amazon Parrot that talks up a storm and can be so loud that someone coming to visit often thought that he had a screaming child locked up! You can be assured too that all the wild birds at his house were always fat and sassy as they were well fed. Ben was quite the character; and his son inherited that gene! When we were growing up, he always told me different stories. I would hang on every word because I believed him! He told me that he and his friends invented the shag. When I moved the beach, my next door neighbor said, “Martha, they are giving shag lessons, do you want to go?” I said, “No, I am from the south, I know how to shag and besides that, my brother invented the shag!” She then said, “Oh, is his picture on the Wall of Fame?” I said, “Yes, I guess so!” When I told Ben about this, he said “Oh no, you didn’t tell her that, did you?” I was just kidding you!

While is very difficult to put into words, the love that we always felt for Ben, I know that he would want his obituary written in a light and humorous way, so this obituary may be a little different than others. We hope that he is laughing in Heaven.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur Bennett McKee, Sr. and Ola McKee; wife, Barbara McKee and his brother, Chuck McKee. He is survived by his only son, Ben III and his wife, Priscilla; grandchildren, Prescott Metcalf and wife, Megan, Alexandra Metcalf and husband, David Hoffman and great grandchildren, Brooks and Odin. He is also survived by his sister, Martha McKee Koletar and husband, Dr. Joseph W. Koletar of Bolivia, NC.

For those who wish to pay their respects, Mr. McKee will lie in state Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel, 515 North Elm Street.

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Services

24 November

Lie in State

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel

515 North Elm Street
Greensboro, North Carolina

25 November

Graveside Service

3:00 pm

Forest Lawn Cemetery

3901 Forest Lawn Drive
Greensboro, North Carolina

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Ben McKee, Jr.

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Rich Cisney

November 23, 2020

I always enjoyed our conversations, and wish there could have been more. Rest in peace, neighbor. May light perpetual shine upon you always.

Sharyn Balkcum

November 22, 2020

You will be missed my friend.

Carolyn McLees Edwards

November 22, 2020

I worked at Jefferson Standard/Lincoln Financial and knew Ben for many years. Also bowled on the Company league and got to know Ben there as well. Ben was very friendly and was well thought of. You are in my prayers.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Ben as superstar baseball player.

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben and his Niece, Alison.

FROM THE FAMILY

Whirlies Baseball Team!

FROM THE FAMILY

Alpha Omega Hi-Y Club

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben was a North Carolina Champion Wrestler in high school!

FROM THE FAMILY

GHS G-30 Social Club!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Ben as superstar baseball player.

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben and his Niece, Alison.

FROM THE FAMILY

Whirlies Baseball Team!

FROM THE FAMILY

Alpha Omega Hi-Y Club

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben was a North Carolina Champion Wrestler in high school!

FROM THE FAMILY

GHS G-30 Social Club!

FROM THE FAMILY

Syitt Club, Greensboro Senior High School!

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben with Martha, his Mother, Chuck, and dog Spot.

FROM THE FAMILY

Ben

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