April 18, 1951 – April 4, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Robert (Rick) McKee, on April 04, 2022.
Rick was a strong, quiet man with an engaging sense of humour and he made friends wherever he went. A devoted family man, he was predeceased by his son Jared; his mother Clare; his father Robert (Bob); his grandparents Charles and Margaret McKee; Halvor and Rose Knutson and nephew Danny Riopel.
Left with treasured memories are his loving wife of 47 years, Lorraine; their sons D’Arcy (Kim), Connell (Janice); grandchildren Lincoln and Lennin; sister Cheryl (John) Musselwhite; nephew Bob (Mardell) Riopel; sister-in-law Beverly (Jack) Wiggins; niece Nicole (Ian) Gibbons; along with many close cousins, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Rick grew up in the west end of Edmonton, where he met his future bride on a blind date, a match made by their sisters Cherie and Bev. Although they remained friends, Rick was pulled by the prospect of becoming a mariner when his high school counselor asked “have you ever thought of a career at sea?” The thought of leaving -32 degree temperatures of Alberta winters was so appealing that he joined NTCL in the NWT where he decked, until freeze up, on their supply boats on the Mackenzie River. Being able to spend winters in the Mexican sun was a bonus that placed his career counselor at the top of his list. Later he served in the Canadian Coast Guard in the north and when an on-the-job eye injury had him flying back to Edmonton, he encountered Lorraine dispensing contact lenses, at the Optometrist Clinic. Happenstance or not, some things were just meant to be.
Upon arriving to the BC West Coast Rick worked to gain knowledge of local waters, with several tugboat companies including Seaspan International Ltd., while pursuing and receiving his Masters ticket. In the 80’s Rick made a lateral move that had him back to the Coast Guard at Vessel Traffic Services. The experience he gained as a part of coastal radar security and berthing deep sea ships in the Vancouver Harbour precipitated a return to Seaspan. For the next 28 years he enjoyed the challenges of marine dispatch in what he called a “three dimensional chess game.”
When not on the job Rick was involved with his sons in their sports activities. Whether travelling to BMX competitions around BC or in the USA, coaching ball hockey or making sure they were on the ice at 5AM, he was their biggest fan in all ways. He was particularly proud that both D’Arcy and Connell followed him into a career in the marine industry, where they gained their experience locally.
Alongside of his annual autumn hunting trips, Rick was passionate about motorcycling and owned a multitude of makes and models throughout his lifetime. They loved travelling in the U.S. and Western Canada, just the two of them. With Lorraine beside him or on the back, he also enjoyed weekends and day trips organized by the Langley Road Riders Motorcycle Club, of which they were members for 25 years.
A Celebration of Life is being held for Rick, on June 18, 2022 at Clayton Hills Golf & Banquet, 5640 – 188 St., Cloverdale, BC, between 1:00 and 4:00 PM, to express fond memories and remember his unique spirit.
A Special Thank You to his Doctors, Medical Team and especially the Nurses that cared for him in the Fraser Health Authority. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Diabetes and/or Heart and Stroke Foundation.
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