|Edythe Anne McKee passed away at her home in Smyrna, Tennessee on Sunday November 3, 2013 at the age of 73 after a long courageous battle with cancer. Edythe was born as Edythe Anne Simpson on May 22, 1940 in Aledo, Illinois to Melvin and Gladys Simpson. She grew up in the farming community of Alexis, Illinois, a place that always remained special to her and that she tried to visit often.
Edythe attended elementary school in the one room school house of Union District 13, and then graduated high school from Alexis High School in 1958. During those school days she was affectionately known to her classmates as "See Saw." After high school, she attended Moline Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing, which she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing in 1961. After a long nursing career, she returned to school earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1986, and then a Master's of Education in Counseling, with an emphasis on Gerontology, from the University of North Texas in 1988.
Over her lifetime, Edythe resided in many places. After graduating nursing school, she married (later divorced) in 1961 and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and finally retired in Dunnellon, Florida in 2002 where she lived for over 10 years. In between, she lived in Arlington, Virginia; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Morton, Pennsylvania; Louisville, Kentucky; Columbia, Tennessee; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Tyler, Texas; La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Dallas, Texas. She moved to Smyrna, Tennessee in 2013 to be near her daughter while she continued to fight her illness.
Edythe was preceded in her death by her father, Melvin Simpson and her great granddaughter, Rebecca Jones. Edythe is survived by her mother, Gladys Simpson of Aledo, Illinois, and her three children: Susan Andrews and her husband Jerry of La Vergne, Tennessee; Thomas McKee and his wife Erin of Boulder, Colorado; and John McKee, and his wife Miranda of Houston, Texas. She is survived by two older brothers - Robert Simpson and his wife Karen of Viola, Illinois; Richard Simpson and his wife Janet of Alexis, Illinois. She is survived by ten grandchildren - Michael Vandiver and his wife Danielle of Minor Hill, Tennesse; Amanda Vandiver of Pulaski, Tennessee; Patrick Vandiver of Pulaski, Tennessee; Jay Andrews of La Vergne, Tennessee; Jessica Andrews of Nashville, Tennessee; Kathleen McKee of Fairbanks, Alaska; Sean McKee, of Seoul, South Korea; Ian McKee of Boulder, Colorado, Tyler and Maxwell McKee, both of Houston, Texas. She is survived by six great grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Ashlyn Vandiver, both of Minor Hill, Tennessee; Shelby and Madison Jones, both of Pulaski, Tennessee; and Chloe Vandiver of Pulaski, Tennessee. She is survived by four nephews and nieces - Kathy Dunn and her husband Jeff of Baltimore, Maryland; Jeff Simpson and his wife Sharon of Aledo, Illinois; Gary Simpson and his wife Gina of Alexis, Illinois; and Sandy Adams of Aledo, Illinois.
Edythe will be remembered for her love of family and friends. She was a lifelong Presbyterian, typically being very active in her local congregation. She had a special gift for working with the elderly, both as a nurse, a church volunteer, and as a counselor. Edythe's wide ranging hobbies included traveling, watching almost any sport (but particularly football and tennis), playing bridge, and collecting dolls. Since she was a young adult she played bridge and particularly played often when she was retired and living in Dunnellon. She liked to travel both within the United States and overseas. She traveled in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, but her most memorable trip was to the Holy Land and the Mediterranean; she frequently spoke of it and its impact on her. Most of all, she enjoyed the opportunity for friendship and fellowship these hobbies provided. Lastly, she had a special place in heart for dogs and it was seldom that her household was without one or two.
Visitation and funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 16th at Norwood Presbyterian Church in Alexis Illinois. Visitation will be from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, followed by the funeral service beginning at 3pm, and then grave side internment immediately thereafter at Norwood Cemetery. Funeral services are being arranged by Hoover-Hall Memorial Chapel of Monmouth, Illinois. A memorial service in Dunnellon, Florida, is being planned for the near future. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Norwood Cemetery. The mailing address is P.O. Box 553, Alexis Illinois 51412