In Memory

Jerry McKee



 
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04/04/11 12:46 AM #1    

Nancy Steffen (Hendrich)

Jerry L. McKee:  28 Feb 1948--18 July 1996


11/11/11 01:19 AM #2    

MaryLynne Perkins (Ellis)

WICHITA POLICE MOURN DEATH OF VOLUNTEER COL. JERRY MCKEE LOGGED MORE THAN 13,500 HOURS - THE EQUIVALENT OF SEVEN YEARS - AS A POLICE RESERVIST.: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice

Wichita Eagle, The (KS) - July 21, 1996

Deceased Name: WICHITA POLICE MOURN DEATH OF VOLUNTEER COL. JERRY MCKEE LOGGED MORE THAN 13,500 HOURS - THE EQUIVALENT OF SEVEN YEARS - AS A POLICE RESERVIST.

A full Wichita Police Department honor guard, 21-gun salute, folding of the flags and taps were given in honor of Col. Jerry McKee on Saturday afternoon. McKee, 48, died of a heart attack as he was getting ready for his job at Learjet Thursday morning. He had served as a reserve officer more than 20 years. "There were miles of police officers, friends and family," said Linda McKee, describing the funeral Saturday. The support within Wichita's police department was the main reason Col. McKee volunteered most of his spare time as a reserve officer, Linda McKee said. But there were many other reasons he loved to volunteer. "Maybe it was the challenge of it, maybe it was the excitement and the ups and downs," Linda McKee said. "But the wonderful key is you are helping people without them even knowing it." As a reserve officer, Col. McKee performed the same duties as a regular officer - only he wasn't paid, Chief Mike Watson said. Last February, Watson presented Col. McKee with the Bronze Wreath of Merit for his outstanding commitment to the unit. He also promoted Col. McKee to the position of colonel. Col. McKee was the first reservist in more than 30 years to be promoted to that rank. Watson remembers how proud Col. McKee was of the reserve unit. He joined the unit in 1976 - the same year Watson joined the department. "He put in thousands and thousands of hours of volunteer time," Watson said. Col. McKee put in more than 13,500 hours - the same as working seven years as a full-time officer. He is only the second person in the police reserve unit to complete more than 20 years of unbroken service. Watson described Col. McKee as a "very good" commander. "I think he cared about the city," Watson said. "I think he cared about the people out there." As a member of the reserve unit, Col. McKee fought to narrow the differences between reserve officers and full-time officers. At a time when reserve officers were treated differently from full-time, McKee sought for the uniforms to be similar and the reserve officers to be given the same equipment. Col. McKee joined the reserves after he returned from the Vietnam War. He wanted to be a full-time officer, but didn't meet the department's physical requirements. An exam showed that he had an extra bone in his back. Instead, he was an environmental mechanic at Learjet and an inspiration to his family. "Our children were raised either at the police department or around police officers," Linda McKee said. Shannon McKee, 27, recently announced his plans to join the Wichita Police Department - news that had made Col. McKee ecstatic. The couple's younger son, Shane, served as a reserve officer before going to college. And Linda has been a reserve officer since 1977. She continues to work as a unit executive secretary.


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