Tahlequah Daily Press

May 15, 2014

Eldon (Mac) Russell McKee


TAHLEQUAH — Eldon (Mac) Russell McKee, age 93, passed away of natural causes on Saturday, May 10, at his home in Canyon Lake, Texas. He was surrounded with loving family at his bedside.

Eldon was born Oct. 1, 1920, in Deer Creek. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jeanette Clare (Coffman) and Frank Elmer McKee; son, Jimmy Frank McKee; sister, Anna Lee Hoskins; and half-brother, Thurman McKee.

He is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Clara Ruth (Gerhardt-Dowell) McKee; daughter and son in-law, Joyce McKee and James B. Williamson of Canyon Lake, Texas; daughter, Sue McKee Stacy of Tahlequah; daughter-in-law, Phyllis McKee of Canyon Lake, Texas; sister, Betty Jean Leonard of Canyon Lake, Texas; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews.

Eldon graduated from Deer Creek High School and on July 4, 1940, married the love of his life, Clara Ruth. At the age of 24 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the USS-A-LST-488. He was honorably discharged after serving two years.

He loved the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing and ranching that included raising registered Charolais cattle. Eldon worked his way up to owning a large heavy equipment construction company. He was known for building some massive dams and reservoirs including Dillon in Colorado; Yellowtail in Montana; Tenkiller in Oklahoma; and many more. One of his biggest achievements was in 1974 when he sued the government for non-payment of work he had done at Big Horn Canyon in Montana.

He and his wife, and at times his good friend, John Moffitt, flew all over the country in his privately-owned plane. He was proud to say he was most likely the only person that was escorted to land by U.S. jets for flying over President Bush’s airspace. Not on purpose of course. He retired from flying at the age of 82.

Eldon was a loving and dedicated husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle. He will be missed.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 16, at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home in Sattler from 3 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the funeral home chapel. Graveside service will follow the funeral at Hill Country Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Highway 46.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.doeppenschmidtfuneralhome.com.

Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home in Sattler, 1071 FM 2673, Canyon Lake, Texas, 78133; 830-964-3050.