Patricia Ann McKee - age: 98
(December 19, 1921 to October 13, 2020
Patricia Ann McKee
December 19, 1921 October 13, 2020
Patricia Ann McKee passed away peacefully on October 13th 2020 at her home in Ukiah, Ca. with her family by her side.
Born in Branscomb, Ca. on December 19, 1921 to John and Nellie Branscomb, she grew up on the family farm, with her parents, brothers, and sisters. Branscomb had a store, post office, and gas pumps, owned by homesteader John Branscomb. Her parents were the postmasters of the post office for many years.
Pat grew up in an independent family, living in a large house that her father built from the redwoods. Having fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the land, raising their own animals for the fresh meat, and hens for eggs, they always had plenty to eat. Everyone had to work to keep the farm going. Pat would tell us about how she would churn the milk and cream to make butter, and all the other chores she had to do.
For school, Pat and her siblings walked down the road to the Little School House where they all learned in one classroom. Pats first job was cleaning the school house for five dollars a month. When it was time for Pat to go to high school she moved to Ukiah, Ca. Her parents knew a good family she could live with to attend there. After graduating Ukiah High School she came back to Branscomb to live and to help her parents. She worked in the Branscomb store with her dad.
That is where she met Ernest Maxwell McKee, Jr. (Max). He was working in the woods next to Branscomb making railroad ties and logging redwoods. They had a liking for each other and fell in love. They went to Reno, Nevada and were married on July 16th, 1940. After their wedding they returned to Branscomb. They lived in a house on her parents property for a short while, and then they moved to Willits, Ca.
Max was drafted into the armed forces in 1942 along with her three brothers. Pat then had to raise their son Fred and daughter Judy while Max fought in Europe. After the war ended they all came home safe with honors.
Max and Pat were very successful in their business ventures. They went quite often to Eden Valley Ranch east of Willits. It was their retreat, for their four children, family and friends. She loved the outdoors, horseback riding, and hunting too. Just being with her family is what she wanted most.
They took many vacations. In 1968 they visited the Seattle Center City Park, once the Seattle Worlds Fair. While walking in the park, without their knowledge their photo was taken. A few weeks later they appeared on the cover of Sunset Magazine.
In 1951, Pat was in New York City sitting in the baseball stands, when she got to see the then New York Giants win the World Series. She was a lifelong San Francisco Giants baseball fan. She watched every game and World Series.
After living in Willits, Ca. and the children left home, they moved around to different places. For example, they lived on an ocean front home near Little River Inn, and once owned the bluff above Navarro beach. Pat found their dream home in Ukiah, Ca. where Max and Pat lived until their deaths. After more than seventy years together, Max passed away on March 24, 2011.
Pat escaped death twice. Once when she was three years old a dog severely bit her. She was taken to Willits for medical treatment where she stayed for two months until she recovered. Years later she was at Harrahs Casino in Reno sitting at a black-jack table, when a man came in to shoot his ex-wife, who was the black-jack dealer. A bullet ricocheted and hit Pat in the chest. Rushed to the hospital, the sweater she was wearing saved her life. She fully recovered.
Pat loved to improve her yard, caring for the flower beds, vegetable garden and fruiting trees. What a beautiful site to see. She loved to cook and made the most delicious abalone dinners.
Being our grandmother, she was the most kind, caring, loving individual anyone could have. She took us on trips to collect seashells, to Disneyland, and so many places. She was always there for us, at our births, graduations, birthdays and sports events, never missed a one. Greatest baby-sitter ever. Grandma we will always love you, in our hearts never forgotten. We will miss her homemade pies, cakes, and cookies from scratch. We will never match that.
At the age of 93, her daughter-in-law Sandy McKee came to stay with her so that she would not be alone, and could stay in her own home. Pat was not only my mother-in-law, she was my best friend. Her memory never went. She told me stories about her life. The history of the Branscombs and the McKees will never end. On that October night, she passed away peacefully in her sleep at home with her family by her side. You had a long life, amazing, independent, loving, strong woman you were. We will always have the memories of being with you. We will never forget you.
Preceded in death by her husband Ernest McKee, Jr.; her sons Fred McKee, and Ralph McKee Sr.; her brother Clarence Branscomb, sisters Barbara Hill and Jane Hughes; and parents John and Nellie Branscomb.
Survived by her daughters Judy Simpson and Zara Raab; daughter-in-law Sandy McKee; grand-daughters Meredith (Nick) Miller, Sarah (Brett) Bass, Robin (Jonathan) Freitham, Nadia Gardner, Jennifer (Tony) Cinquini, and August McKee; grand-sons Alec Miller, Benjamin (Danielle) Gardner, Ralph (Kristine) McKee Jr., Edward McKee, Bruce McKee, and Kim (Jamie) McKee; great grand-children Anne and Oliver Miller, Carl and Lizzy Freitham, Bailey Bass, Stephanie Fritch, Kaylee Brockett and Jason Brockett Jr., Austin Cinquini, Matthew Hooper, Keeaira, Lillian, Frederick and Emilia McKee. Great-great-grandson Kayden Murphy and one on the way; brothers James and John Branscomb; and many Nephews and Nieces.
Special thanks to Larry and Kathy OBryant for their loving friendship. Thanks to the McKee Family for their love, support, and care, for always being there for her.
Tears will flow, we miss you so having you as our family is the greatest gift we will know. Love, and miss you always, the McKee Family.