James Michael “Mike” McKee passed away peacefully on Oct. 16, 2022, at the age of 87 after a lengthy illness. He was born on Feb. 22, 1935, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to the late James Earnest McKee and Mabel Williams McKee.
Mike graduated from Davis High School, where he was active in football, basketball and baseball. Later, he attended the University of Oklahoma and East Central University. In 1960, he married the love of his life, Ann Eby. After living in Ardmore, Sallisaw and Oklahoma City, they eventually moved to Yukon.
Mike was an adventurer and an entrepreneur who started many successful businesses. He had a knack for establishing a new business, getting it up and running and then moving on to the next one. Over the course of his life, Mike managed the Dornick Hills Country Club in Ardmore, served in the U.S. Army and owned and managed the Arrowhead Drive-in, where he mentored and encouraged many young people of Yukon. Mike was also an insurance agent, a farmer and rancher and owned Thunderbird Well Servicing.
At Dornick Hills, Mike developed his love for golf. The owner said, “You can’t manage a country club and not know how to play golf.” Thus, his love of golf was born.
Mike’s dedication to his community was evident, as he served on the Yukon City Council and as the Mayor of Yukon for two different terms. Under his leadership, the city saw vast improvements in all areas. He had a vision to always work for the betterment of the community. He was a devout Christian and faithful member of the United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd.
Mike loved OU football. In the early 1970s, he became a member of the OU sideline “chain gang” and worked for 35 years running up and down the field. He experienced hundreds of Sooner football games, five head coaches and multiple National Championships.
A true socialite, Mike never met a stranger. He loved to be around people, whether it was just to talk, play golf or cards. You can’t mention Mike without speaking about golf; he was an avid golfer. He couldn’t wait for the weather to get warm enough to be out on the tee box. Whether it was with the Surrey Hills group, Spanish Cove friends or just by himself, Mike loved golf. He also enjoyed playing bridge on Saturday nights with his life-long friends and playing gin at Surrey Hills on Saturday mornings.
Mike loved to watch the grandkids and great grandkids play sports. He thought they were the “best” athletes. They always brought smiles to his face, especially when they would sit in his lap.
Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Ann; his father, James McKee; and mother, Mabel McKee. He is survived by his son, Mike Mckee, Jr. and wife Tammy; daughter, Misha Yancey and husband Alan; four grandchildren, Mike McKee, III and wife Lydia, Kiley Mixon and husband Jeremy, Caitlin Villalobos and husband Matthew and Allyson Yancey; four great grandchildren, Cohen, Adalynn and Gavin Mixon and Melydi McKee; sister-in-law, Beth Eby; and niece, Nicole.
The celebration of Mike’s life will be held Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at 10 a.m. Services will be held at the United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd. Viewing will be held Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Ingram, Smith & Turner Mortuary. A private graveside service will be held prior to the church Service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Mike’s honor to the “Yukon High School Golf Booster Club” c/o Kim Cowan, 132 Vail Drive, Yukon, OK, 73099 or to your favorite charity.