Mrs. Sylvia Jean McBee

April 26, 1939March 6, 2018

Sylvia Jean Donahue McBee of west Knoxville, died on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Parkwest Medical Center. Born April 26, 1939, Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents, William H. and Flossie Bowers Donahue; infant brother William Donahue; and sister-in-law, Lois McBee. Ever a soft-spoken and gentle soul, Sylvia lived in harmony with God’s created world and found her greatest joy in making others happy. She unselfishly and patiently helped raise her five younger siblings in their early years; her nurturing flourished more fully as she reared a remarkable son and a devoted daughter of her own. Increasing her delight were her three Virginia grandchildren, whose visits, emails, and texts brightened all of her days. Following her retirement as medical secretary and x-ray technician for two orthopedic firms, Mrs. McBee dedicated more time to her passion for plants and flowers. The wide sweep of her lawns and her sparkling garden spaces were a haven for birds and small animals, as well as a peaceful sanctuary for the friend or family member in need of peace and solace. Sylvia’s sense of style shone through all her creations. Her homemaking skills were exceptional. The family’s favorite memories include gatherings around the table, replete with laughter, fun, and her incredibly delicious menus. And one dare not forget the various canines ever in attendance, each of whom was considered a treasured family member as well. Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Claude McBee; son Dr. Matthew (Jody) McBee of Suffolk, VA; daughter Andrea (Ann) McBee of Knoxville; grandson Daniel (Kat) Byrnes of Richmond, VA; and granddaughters Victoria and Elizabeth McBee of Suffolk; brother-in-law and sister-in-law A. J. and Dee McBee. She also leaves six siblings to mourn the loss of their beloved sister: Ben (Lyra) Donahue of Cloudland, GA; Wilda (Warren) Clark, Sandra (John) Pennington, Jan (Dwight) Wade, Jim Donahue, Cathy (Bob) Lewis, all of Knoxville; and many cherished nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 10 from Noon – 2:00 p.m. at Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home, 2300 Adair Drive, Knoxville. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., with Reverend John E. Pennington, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow at Lynnhurst Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers are grandson Daniel Byrnes, brother-in-law Dwight Wade, and nephews Toby Lewis, John McBee, Brian McBee, and Chuck Overton. Condolences may be offered at



  • Visitation Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 10, 2018


  • Committal Service

Mrs. Sylvia Jean McBee

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Alonzo "Lonnie" Webb

March 8, 2018

To: Jim Donahue & Family:

Sorry for you'll loss and may God Comfort ALL ! My Prayer!

Shalom In Christ,

Alonzo "Lonnie" Webb
Hiwassee College 66-68

Bowling Green, Ky. 42101

Lisa Maddox Cate

March 7, 2018

I remember growing up thinking that Sylvia was just so BEAUTIFUL, glamorous even. Over the years I learned that her beauty was from the inside out. She had a beautiful spirit....soft spoken, tender hearted. She was gentle yet strong too. When you'd see her she would always inquire about how you were doing, how your loved ones were doing. Sylvia was loved by all who knew her and she will be greatly missed.

Love and prayers to Claude, Ann, and Matt