William Edward McKee

May 29, 1919November 5, 2018

William E. “Ed” McKee, 99, died the fifth of November in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Ed was born in Clarinda, Iowa in 1919, attended Clarinda College and transferred to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. Enlisting in the Army, he entered officer candidate school training in North Carolina at Duke University. As an Army Captain he was stationed in Las Vegas, Nevada during WWII. After the war, Ed moved to Des Moines where he was a principal officer of the State Auto Insurance Company. He returned briefly to military service during the Korean conflict. He met Alice Anderson in Chicago during a business trip and they were married on May 1, 1954.

Ed left State Auto to launch the State Surety Company. Under Ed’s leadership, State Surety grew, expanding into several Midwest states. Key to the company’s success was a dedicated staff and diverse governing board.

A longtime member of Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Ed served as Elder, Deacon and chairman of the session. Ed was also active in the ELCA Lutheran Church for an interim period and served on the Iowa Lutheran Hospital Board. Ed was also a member of the Scottish Rite as a 32nd degree Mason.

Ed learned to fly after WW II using GI benefits available to soldiers after the war. He was an enthusiastic pilot and enjoyed flying for both business and pleasure. With an instrument rating, Ed traveled extensively and was able to take his family on vacations and shorter “excursion” trips including trips to see his alma mater play football in Lincoln, Nebraska. Ed and his wife Alice were “snow birds” for a number of years, getting away from the Midwest winters, spending these months in southern Florida. As springtime approached, Ed was anxious to return to the Midwest each year to enjoy the splendid Iowa shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

Ed enjoyed the outdoors, particularly tennis, golf and gardening. And, his favorite spectator sport was baseball (Go Cubs!). He and Alice moved to Williamsburg, Virginia in 2007, and were members of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife Alice. He is survived by his son Charles of Stevens Point, Wisconsin and two daughters; Karen (Hans Schwartz) of Williamsburg, Virginia and Martha Creaser (Karl) of Knutsford, England. He is also survived by two grandchildren Ellen and David Creaser.

With thanks and gratitude to the aides who made a difference in his life during the last year: Sharon, Diana and Jonneitta.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13 at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. The family will receive visitors at a reception following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, 215 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Online condolences may be offered at


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, November 13, 2018

William Edward McKee

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Rich Stevens

November 13, 2018

Karen, Charlie and Martha,

Our condolences on the passing of your father. He was a great friend to my father, and he will be missed.

It seems not too long ago I would see your father at the Iowa Cubs games, enjoying himself tremendously. That was of course more than a few years ago.

I have sent some photos for your review care of April at Nelsen.

Take care,
Rich, Christina, Anna and Corry Stevens

John Elliott

November 11, 2018

William McKee was "Uncle Bill" to me.

He was a wonderful man.
I remember visiting my Aunt Alice & Uncle Bill in Iowa, when I was a boy. Bill would take my brothers & me for rides on his John Deer and his airplane! That was very fun.
He was always very kind & gracious.

He lived an amazing 99 years, and he's left a great legacy.

I'm sending my deepest sympathy to Karen & Hans, Charles, Martha & Karl and their children David & Ellen.

My thoughts & prayers also go out to his friends and anyone who was impacted by him.

He will be greatly missed.


Andrew Coate

November 9, 2018

Karen & Hans -
Our thoughts and prayers are with both of you as well as your family. What a great man Ed was, with a long and wonderful life. I'm sure he is at peace and hope your many memories bring you much comfort.
Much love, Andrew & Kris