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Bertram Earl McKee

February 28, 1916 - June 17, 2010

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Bertram Earl McKee, 94, of Salem, Oregon passed away June 17, 2010 after a short illness of pneumonia complicated by congestive heart failure. He was born in Cottonwood, California to Bertram Wallace McKee and Jessie Mae (Samples) McKee.

Bert graduated in 1934 from Anderson High School in Anderson, California. At age 16, during the Great Depression, he helped feed his parents and eight siblings by catching salmon and hunting deer, sometimes in season. To earn money to help the family, he picked fruit in summers, as did his brothers and sisters

After graduating high school, he drove truck, worked on hay farms, and in canneries in California. During WWII, he got a job in a shop that repaired truck tires. While there, he learned about the workings of diesel engines and how to fix them. He drove truck and was a great diesel mechanic for many years. He retired in 1984. He enjoyed woodworking and helping his neighbors. He often referred to himself as “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

He and his brother, James, were very proud of the cabin they built overlooking the American River in Kyburz, California. This was their vacation and weekend home. Bert lived there until November 2009 when he moved to Salem, Oregon to be with his nephew, Mike Morrelli. He has many friends in Kyburz.

He is preceded in death by: his parents; sisters, Mary E. Shelton and Bessie Morrelli; brothers, Alfred McKee of Washington and Willie McKee, Jesse McKee, Raymond McKee, Charles McKee, and James McKee of California; and his nephew, Frank Morrelli, Jr., of Oregon. Bert is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.