News From Terre Haute, Indiana


March 22, 2014

Mabel ‘Joan’ McKee

Mabel “Joan” McKee, 76, of Terre Haute, and formerly of Seelyville, passed away at 8:45 a.m. on March 18, 2014, after a short battle with cancer. She passed peacefully in her home, in the company of family. Mrs. McKee was born on Oct. 31, 1937, in Clay County, Ind., to Opal Mae (Metcalf) Lowdermilk and Paul Revere Lowdermilk; she was the second of four children. The family lived near Lewis, while she was very young, subsequently moving to southern Terre Haute. Mrs. McKee attended Greenwood Elementary School, Sarah Scott Junior High, and Gerstmeyer High School.

As a young woman, Mrs. McKee worked as a housekeeper and nanny in Terre Haute, and in Chattanooga, Tenn. She later attended Indiana Business College, and worked as a medical transcriptionist in Indianapolis at the Indiana Agency for the Blind (now Blind and Visually Impaired Services ¨C State of Indiana). She married Roy Wendell McKee in Terre Haute on May 3, 1958, and continued living in Indianapolis for a few years. In the early 1960s, the young couple moved from Indianapolis to a farm near Clay City, where Roy worked as a farm hand, and Mrs. McKee became a housewife and mother. By 1962, the couple moved their growing family to Seelyville, where they raised two sons. They were married for 54 years before Roy lost his battle with cancer in March 2012. Mrs. McKee subsequently moved to Park Place senior apartments in south Terre Haute, where she made a number of new friends.

Mrs. McKee enjoyed homemaking, family gatherings, and traveling with her family through the countryside. Although neither Mrs. McKee nor her husband graduated from high school, they both understood the value of education, and saw to it that their sons had better education and more opportunities in life than they had. They sought to serve as role models through their work ethic and values.

Mrs. McKee is survived by her two sisters, Janice Knuth (Roger, deceased) of Terre Haute, and Carol Kirk (Earl) of Fairbanks; her two sons, Kevin (Peggy) McKee of Troy, Ill., and Bruce McKee of Decatur, Ill.; five grandchildren, Natasha Ford of Riley, Stephanie (Kevin) Kempf of Schenectady, N.Y., Trevin McKee of Mattoon, Ill., Macray McKee of Decatur, and Jessica McKee of Woodbridge, Va. She also is survived by four great-grandchildren; several brothers- and sisters-in-law; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Mrs. McKee was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Roy Wendell McKee; her brother, Jack (Nina) Loudermilk of Terre Haute; and her brother-in-law, Roger Knuth, of Philadelphia.

In keeping with her modest and secular tendencies, Mrs. McKee stipulated that she wanted neither ceremonies nor funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Wabash Valley.

The family would like to thank extended family members, friends, neighbors and former neighbors who provided support to Mrs. McKee and her family. DeBaun Funeral Homes and Crematory, 85 E. Springhill Drive, has been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at:

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