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“The McKee family lost their patriarch and the bagpipe community lost a man who was the essence of bagpiping in bonnie Chicago. History will never forget Dave McKee.”
– bagpipe student Joe Brady
McKee, David E. 85, beloved husband of 45 years to Kathleen “Kitty” (nee Kirk). Dave was born in Oelwein, Iowa to Hugh and Josephine (King) McKee on May 21, 1928. After moving to Chicago, the family became life-long residents of the south side where Dave attended St. Columbanus grammar school and St. Leo High School. A Korean War veteran, Dave served in the U.S. and Korea as part of the 441st Counter-Intelligence Corps and upon return graduated from Loyola University. He began his working career as a beer truck helper for Fox Deluxe brewery and went on to work for Budweiser for 32 years in sales. After his retirement, Dave joined the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and worked as a D.A.R.E. officer visiting schools throughout Chicago.
Dave is best known for his leadership and support of the Chicago Stock Yard Kilty Band—the oldest continuous bagpipe band in Chicago. Dave joined the band after seeing them perform at a Canadian Legion event in 1950. In 1975, he became Pipe Major—a role he would hold for 28 years before turning it over to his son Matt in 2003. Although he played for presidents and royalty, his greatest joy was leading the band on the streets of Chicago in hundreds of parades over the years. In addition, he taught generations of adults and children the art of the great highland bagpipe around the dining room table of his Beverly home—all for the price of $2 per lesson.
Dave was and will always be “Big Dave” to the love of his life, Kitty; dearest “Dad” to his four devoted sons, David Jr. (Karen), Daniel (Katie), Matthew (Susan) and Luke (Julie); adoring “Papa” to Grace, David III, Martin, Luke Jr., Hugh, Molly, Moira, Sean, Matthew Jr., Timmy and Sadie Bea; loving patriarch and “Uncle Dave” to many Madden, McKee, Heil and Kirk nieces and nephews, “Officer McKee” to hundreds of students of the D.A.R.E. program, brother in-law to James Kirk and Frank (Karen) Kirk and friend and neighbor to many in the Beverly community.
Dave was preceded in death by his siblings, Theresa (the late David) Severn, Josephine “Sis” (the late Joseph) Madden, Hugh (Jean), William (the late Christine) and Cecelia (the late Arthur) Heil. In addition to the SYKB, Dave was a proud member of Christ the King parish choir and the Beverly R.O.M.E.Os (Retired Old Men Eating Out) Breakfast Club.
Visitation will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Brady-Gill Funeral Home, 2929 W. 87th St., Evergreen Park. A funeral Mass will be said at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Christ the King Church, 9235 S. Hamilton Ave., Chicago. Burial will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of our Pipe Sargent Dave McKee Sr.
Arrangements are as follows:
Sunday, August 25th, 2013
2p to 9p
Brady Gill Funeral Home
2929 w 87th Street
Monday, August 26th, 2013
Visitation 10:30, Funeral Mass immediately following at 11:30.
Christ the King
92nd and Hamilton
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