Gary B. McKee passed away on Sunday, March 25, 2018, after a brief illness. Gary was born on June 1, 1939 in Bangor Maine to Lawrence and Louise McKee. The family later settled in Wallingford, CT. Gary lived with his parents and enjoyed spending time with his father tinkering with car engines. In 1960 at the age of 21, Gary moved to (the former) Mansfield Training School in Mansfield CT. He resided there until August 2, 1989, the day he moved to a New England Residential Services group home in Middletown. Gary went on to live in the same home for almost 29 years. He had attended ACORD, Inc. day programs in Meriden and Wallingford until his retirement in January 2012. Gary was able to enjoy many years of visiting his family home with his group home staff prior to his parents’ passing. Gary always loved to shop, and in his younger years would frequent the Dollar Store, flea markets and yard sales on the hunt for the perfect radio, alarm clock or teddy bear. Gary also enjoyed car shows, which must have brought him happy memories of time spent with his father. Gary loved to take his radios apart in an attempt to figure out how they worked, but much to his chagrin was not as successful with putting them back together. He was also known to play a tune or two on the harmonica. In the last few years, Gary single-handedly kept Goodwill in business by purchasing several radios a week, always followed with his favorite lunch of a Big Mac Meal and a Coke from McDonalds. Gary was close to many of his staff at New England Residential Services and made long lasting relationships. He took on the role of “father” to others in the group home, and leaves behind housemates of many years who will miss him. Gary had a large sense of independence. He made sure to train his staff well, so that they would do things, as he wanted them done. He was quite successful at it. Gary will always be loved by his staff and remembered for his sense of humor, temper, colorful use of the English language and most of all the impact he had on their lives. He has left a large void in the hearts of many, as well as in his home. He will be greatly missed by all, including present staff Mo, Sandy, Chris, Melissa, Nelson, Kristopher, Arie, Jerry, Adekunle, Keith, Harry and Nina. Gary is survived by his sister Bernice “Bunny” Lagueux and her husband Philip from Laconia, New Hampshire. He was predeceased by his parents Lawrence and Louise McKee, a brother Lawrence “Buddy” McKee and his wife Theresa, a brother Elwood McKee and a sister Juanita McKee.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service at Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street in Middletown on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be immediately following at the In Memoriam Cemetery, 18 Maplewood Avenue in Wallingford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Goodwill, 955 Washington Street, Middletown, CT 06457. To share memories or send condolences, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.