Richard J. McKee

Thursday, December 31, 2015

LONGMONT, Colo. -- Richard James (Jim) McKee, formerly of Bartley, Nebraska, a longtime Boulder County resident, passed away on Saturday (Dec. 26, 2015) due to complications following heart surgery.

Jim was born in Fairbury, Nebraska, to Ernest and Alvena (Grosch) McKee. While he was young, the family moved to Bartley, Nebraska. During much of Jim's childhood, Ernest travelled while working for the railroad and Jim spent much of his time with his maternal grandparents Richard and Louisa Grosch on their farm near Bartley.

Jim was the first of his family to attend college and earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska, and an M.S. degree in engineering management from Syracuse University. He also served in the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1955 through 1957.

Jim married Janet (Jan) Marilyn Rash in 1955 and they raised four children together (Kevin McKee of Mountain View, California (spouse Deborah Neff), Brian McKee of Tucson, Arizona (spouse Janet Griffitts), Glynis McKee of Boulder, Colorado (spouse Kyle Gresham), and David McKee of San Francisco, California (spouse Linda Mixon).

Jim worked as an electrical engineer and engineering manager for IBM from 1959 to 1990. He was an avid bicyclist, commuting from the Table Mesa area to IBM for many years. After retiring, he cycled with the entire family. He and Jan rode in bike tours in Colorado, Wyoming, and Vermont. Accompanied by David and Brian, he bicycled from Boulder to his 40th high school reunion in Bartley.

Following his retirement from IBM, Jim began a second career as a volunteer in nature organizations in the area, including the Boulder County Nature Association (BCNA), Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. He represented BCNA on wildlife issues with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

After being widowed in 2001, Jim was fortunate to find a second love with his fiancée, Phyllis Hasheider. In 2006 they moved together to Longmont where they lived until his death. In addition to Phyllis and his children, Jim is survived by his granddaughters Rhiannon and Cordelia McKee-Gresham.

A reception to celebrate Jim's life will be held Sunday Jan. 3 from 1-4 p.m. at Lionsgate Event Center Gatehouse, 1055 S. 112th St., Lafayette, CO 80026 (

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Boulder County Nature Association or The Nature Conservancy, Colorado.

For details see: /jimmckeememorial/

Announcement courtesy of Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel of McCook.