Hugh Edward McGee Jr.
December 20, 1928 – May 20, 2020
Hugh Edward McGee, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, the 20th of May 2020, in Houston, Texas, surrounded by family and loved ones. Hugh lived a full and complete life in every sense of the phrase. He was a self-made and resilient man who touched and influenced the lives of countless people over 91 incredible years.
Hugh was born in Mount Vernon, New York on the 20th of December 1928, and was the second of four children of the late Matilda (Z’Boyan) and Hugh Edward McGee. In his early youth he developed a love for the beach while crabbing and riding the surf on “buckboards” with his siblings at nearby Lavallette Beach in New Jersey. Hugh attended A.B. Davis High School in Mount Vernon where he lettered in four sports as a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams, in addition to being a pole vaulter and long jumper on the track and field team.
Upon graduation from high school in 1945, at the age of 17, Hugh enlisted in the Marines and did his basic training at Parris Island, S.C. Following several domestic assignments, he was awarded a Naval ROTC scholarship and attended the University of Rochester. His family relocated to Houston in 1949. He worked a variety of jobs, eventually enrolling in Baylor Law School and graduating in 1953 after just two years. After graduation, he completed his military service and returned to Houston, teaming up with his prior mentor and friend, Joe Allbritton, to form the law firm of Allbritton & McGee. This marked the beginning of his career in Houston as a practicing lawyer, investor and entrepreneur, which lasted over sixty years.
One of Hugh’s early assignments was to probate the will of a client named Joseph Kelly. Through that assignment, Hugh met and fell in love with Mr. Kelly’s daughter, Dorothy, who became his beloved wife of 54 years. He used to joke that he had never received so many calls from a client regarding a simple probate matter! Hugh and Dorothy raised five children who in turn produced eighteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (so far!).
Hugh and Dorothy were a fabulous team whose lives were grounded in their family. Each provided inspiration, leadership and support to their children in their own special, but complementary way. In addition to leading by example, Hugh stressed the importance of hard work, resilience and resourcefulness. And despite managing a busy law practice and a variety of business interests, he took the time to instill his love of sports in his children and to coach his three sons’ football and baseball teams. He coached in the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association for more than a decade, becoming a beloved coach and mentor to countless young athletes. Long after many of the youth he coached became grown men, they continued to call him “Coach” and often remarked on the positive influence he had on their lives.
When the situation called for it, Hugh could also be a strict disciplinarian. His children dreaded the phrase “let’s visit about this in my office,” which meant they would be required to present their defense to Hugh, who served as both the “impartial” judge and the prosecutor. While the results of these “trials” were predictable, the lessons learned made an impression that lasted a lifetime.
Hugh was a quintessential renaissance man; variety and scope of his skills, knowledge, and interests was extraordinary. A gifted public speaker, he was a consummate host or master of ceremonies, always knowing what to say and when to say it. Over the course of his life, he held a wide variety of jobs: including golf course caddy, Pinkerton detective, traveling salesman, and short order cook, to name just a few. As a lawyer, he was a “generalist” in an increasingly specialized legal profession; he was just as comfortable in the courtroom as he was negotiating a business deal. He also had a significant entrepreneurial streak; he made and sold cold-cut sandwiches out of his dorm room at the University of Rochester, and later invested in real estate, mobile home parks, a seismic company, and automobile dealerships, becoming the owner and operator of two Toyota dealerships. Hugh also found time for a variety of charitable and civic causes, including Houston School for the Deaf (Board President), Downtown Exchange Club (President), his local neighborhood association (President), and the Houston Racquet Club (founder and President).
Hugh was a master at engaging in witty and clever repartee. He relished a good play on words and never passed up an opportunity for a pun or joke. To him, gentle ribbing and sarcastic comments were really signs of affection. To top it all off, he was a fabulous dancer whose sparkling blue eyes, fun-loving nature and infectious personality often made him the life of the party!
Following Dorothy’s passing in 2010, Hugh’s children made sure he was immersed in the lives of his large and adoring family. Over time, Hugh developed a special and beautiful relationship with Linda Wood. She became his loving companion and they shared a very happy and joyful period together, attending many family events (graduations, marriages, baptisms, and birthdays) and enjoying each other’s company. Linda doted over Hugh and cared for him to the very end.
Hugh will be missed by all but always remembered through the incredible legacy he leaves behind, and the meaningful impact he had on the many lives he has touched.
Hugh is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy, and by his siblings John McGee and Barbara Brown. Hugh is survived by his brother Donald McGee, his loving companion Linda Wood, and the following family members:
His children and their spouses: Lynne Johnson and her husband Brian; Hugh “Skip” McGee III and his wife Susie; Richard McGee and his wife Kris; James McGee and his wife Renee; and Jennifer Nash and her husband Noble;
His eighteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren: Patrick Johnson (and his wife, Molly and their three children Emma, Will and Thomas), Michael Johnson (and his wife Kendall and their son, Fitz), Kaitlyn Johnson Duffie (and her husband Parker) and Hannah Johnson Barnes (and her husband Ben); Katie McGee Field (and her husband Alex), John Edward McGee and Elizabeth McGee; Hugh Kelly, Eleni, Christina and Charles McGee; Matthew, Nicholas and Timothy McGee; and Kelly Nash Brown (and her husband Parker), and Michelle, Megan and Noble Nash, Jr.; and
Numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until seven o’clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 26th of May, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The family will gather for a private in person funeral service on Wednesday, the 27th of May, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons. Guests are invited to attend the service virtually via a livestream beginning at ten o’clock in the morning. The link to view the service may be found at the bottom of this notice.
Following the service, the family will gather for a private interment at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial donations may be directed to: Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association, 12630 Taylorcrest, Houston, TX 77024; Baylor Law School, Attn: Kristine Bridges, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, TX 76798; or to the charity of one’s choice benefitting military veterans.
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Visitation with the Family
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Livestreaming for Guests
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Hugh Edward McGee Jr.
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
May 28, 2020
Lynne, you and your family, are in our warm thoughts and prayers.
May 27, 2020
Dear Lynne, Skip, Richard, James, Jennifer and families,
Our deepest condolences for the passing of your dad.
He lived life fully and loved each of you very much.
He will be missed.
We will be online watching the memorial service and
are praying for each of you.
May the choirs of angels
come to greet him
may they speed him to paradise,
May the Lord enfold him
in His mercy
may he have eternal life.
May God bless you
May His face shine upon you
May His graciousness be with you
May His countenance turn toward you
May you know His peace.
God bless you,
Mike and Barbara
May 26, 2020
Hugh was a respected attorney and advisor to my family for over five decades. We're sure Hugh is teeing it up in Heaven with his regular Lakeside group right about now. Our heartfelt condolences to Linda and his entire family. Rest in peace, Hugh.
May 26, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear of Hughs' passing. Hugh was our Attorney for Robert Reid Consulting Engineer, Inc. for several years. No matter how serious the issue, Hugh always made you feel comfortable while offering great legal advice. Hugh was always so light hearted and loved to joke with us. I haven't spoken with Hugh in several years, but I'll always remember his wonderful qualities. My thoughts and prayers are with the Family.
John N. Spencer
May 25, 2020
Having been married to Hugh's brother John for 50 years and having known Hugh for 60 plus years, I can say without reservation that Hugh was an extraordinary man. Hugh enriched the lives of the John McGee family in countless ways, too many to enumerate. Even though Hugh had his own busy personal and professional life, as his memorial shows, Hugh always found the time to help us as well as others. He skillfully guided us in legal matters with his immense knowledge. As a family member, he provided loving, caring counsel. Hugh will be remembered with enduring love, admiration, and gratitude. I am proud to have known Hugh E. McGee.
With much love,
Joan, Stephanie, Gregory, Julie, and Andrew McGee
Xavier & Natasha Gonzalez
May 24, 2020
May 24, 2020
Dear Mr McGee:
We thank you for being one of the founders and a past president of the Houston Racquet Club, where we have spent many wonderful hours over many wonderful years. We are, therefore, part of your rich legacy.
Xavier & Natasha Gonzalez
(friends of your grandchildren Kelly, Eleni and Christina)
May 24, 2020
Dear McGee Family,
Perhaps we don't always realize the impact that our loved one has had on people who are total strangers to the family of the deceased. I'm one of those strangers. None of you have ever met me, much less know my name. In fact, Hugh and I saw one another only once—and that fleetingly.
Nonetheless, he has made an impression on me, not only because of the lively, eloquent way you described his full, happy, rewarding life in your beautiful tribute to him, but also because of the deep feelings my long-time neighbor Linda has had for her sweetheart Hugh!
You see, as the person whom Linda carefully selected to walk her beloved dog, Oreo, on the days she spent long hours at Hugh's hospital bedside on two occasions, I was, by default, the first recipient of her joyful news each day he made progress and each time he was discharged. Of course I rejoiced with her, knowing she couldn't wait to tenderly minister to Hugh's every need while he made a full recovery at home.
Other times, when bumping into Linda and Oreo on their walks, I inquired about Hugh and, with her usual calm demeanor but sparkling eyes, she would tell me about their recent outings to Astros games, family gatherings, a grandchild's wedding, and the like.
So, Hugh's family, when you're bidding him tearful goodbyes on Wednesday, Oreo will be barking his final farewell as he sits on my lap and watches the livestream service with me. I'll tell him that Hugh, upon whose own lap Oreo loved to lie, is now at rest eternally in the lap of our loving Lord. Later, Oreo's mommy will come home and hug her sweet Oreo in the flesh (or fur) and hug her sweetheart Hugh in spirit.
May 23, 2020
May 23, 2020
Dear Richard and Kris and family:
Our heartfelt condolence on your father’s passing. May the memory of your father be a blessing.
Family of Javier & Natalya Gonzalez
May 23, 2020
"Bennie", Marialice, and I are sad to hear of Hugh's death. I first knew of Hugh through Dorothy's brother, Joe Kelly, who was brother in law and great fan of "Hug". Joe and I were at Rice, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Belvoir, and Fort Hood (second Lieutenants, and "fence neighbors" with Joe and Mary (no fence) in Copperas Cove, near Fort Hood.
When I told Hugh he married the smartest girl to ever graduate from Rice, he replied: "Well, I was smart enough to marry her".
Hugh would call my office, and when Louise, my secretary for thirty five years, would inquire: "May I tell him who's calling", McGee would say: "Sure, go ahead and tell him"; or, when he would announce his name, and Louise said: "Can you spell it?", McGee would say: "Yeah, I can spell it".
John Morris will remember a doubles match at the Houston Racquet Club between Hugh and Roy Horlock vs. John and me. Roy developed leg cramps, and Hugh and Roy offered to forfeit. I asked John, and he said: "You think they would forfeit us?" We waited, and finished the match. Guess what--Hugh and Roy won!
Hugh was smart, self deprecating, possessed of a great sense of humor, and a very successful lawyer. There are some "guys" who are just "delightful"--McGee was "delightful"! Not surprising that his and Dorothy's "kids" would be bright, extremely will educated, and successful in business (director at Lehman Bros.)
Baylor University, the Houston Racquet Club (former President), the practice of law (law partner with Joe Albritton), his family and many friends have lost a great friend and a very decent "guy".
Condolences---"Bennie" and Joe Shaffer
May 22, 2020
Big Hugh was the man! He was a great family man and has left a great legacy - his children. His family was profiled in the Houston paper with all that they are doing. We love Big Hugh for all of his wit and energy. We will miss him but he left a mark of excellence and integrity. With our love, Greg Pipkin family