Dr. Clyde D. McKEE Jr.


McKEE JR., Dr. Clyde D. Dr. Clyde D. McKee Jr, 81, of Old Saybrook, CT beloved husband of Mary McKee, died of a brain tumor on (May 24, 2011), surrounded by his family. He was born on December 4,1929 in Birmingham, AL, son of the late Clyde D. McKee and Hattie May Parker McKee Bray and the stepson of the late Dr. William E. Bray. Clyde was an educator who shared his passion for learning with others. He strived to make the world a better place by devoting his life to teaching, carrying out his civic responsibilities and encouraging others to do the same. He taught political science at Trinity College in Hartford, CT from 1965 to 2009. During his sabbaticals he taught at universities in England, Italy and in Northern Ireland. For over 30 years he also served on the faculty of New England Municipal Clerks Institute and Academy, a position from which he derived great satisfaction and developed many cherished friendships. As an authority on local government in America, Clyde published numerous articles and contributed to various publications including, but not limited to The Hartford Courant, Perspectives of a State Legislature (1971), and the Connecticut chapters in The Political Encyclopedia and States and Regions of the U.S. Clyde also was a frequent election commentator on TV and radio. He founded the New England Conference of the American Society of Public Administrators in 1967, established the Trinity College Legislative Internship Program and served as the President of the New England Political Science Association in 1983. He was a dedicated mentor and student advocate. He supported his students in their many endeavors; outside the classroom he attended their contests and performances, cheered on the sidelines of athletic fields and inspired them to achieve their personal goals. He encouraged his students to actively participate in government, enter various essay and public speaking contests, run for elected offices and serve on boards and committees in their communities. He took great pride in the fact that twenty-two of his students won the Center for the Study of the Presidency's National Essay Contest's top prize with his guidance. Clyde earned his B.A. in philosophy in 1952 from Wesleyan University where he began his lifelong affiliation with the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He attended the University of Chicago Law School for one year before joining the U. S. Air Force in 1953 as an intelligence officer and crypto-analysis specialist. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force at the rank of 1st Lieutenant in 1957. In 1959 he earned his M.A.T. in education at Wesleyan University and began a two-year stint teaching English and coaching soccer at Westbrook High School. He was the Assistant Director of the University of Connecticut's Foreign Administration Program in 1964 and earned his M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1968, also from the University of Connecticut. His dissertation won the national Leonard D. White Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the United States. A resident of Old Saybrook since 1959, he was involved in various activities in the shoreline community. He was a founding member of the Old Saybrook Racquet Club, a member of the Young Democrats, chairman of the Old Saybrook Rail Station Restoration Committee, vice chairman of Old Saybrook's Charter Revision Committee in 1970, and a member of the Old Saybrook Board of Education in the 1970s. Clyde enjoyed a variety of recreational activities including golf, tennis, skiing, swimming, morning bike rides around Cornfield Point, and international travel. He traveled extensively with his wife, Mary, and they served as citizen ambassadors to China and Cuba. Clyde instilled within his family a legacy replete with wisdom, from life lessons to "new words of the day." In addition to his wife, Clyde is survived by six children, daughters: Roxane (Fromson) and her husband Timothy of Glastonbury, CT, Valerie (Willey) and her husband Daniel of Stamford, CT, Deanne of New York, NY, and sons: Clyde D. III and his wife Taryl of Malvern, PA, Colonel and his wife Carolyn of Needham, MA, and R. Judge and his wife Kate of Dedham, MA. Clyde is also survived by 11 grandchildren who fondly called him "Poppie:" Christine & Allison (Willey), Peter and Mark (Fromson), Clyde D. IV, Madison, Clayton, Taylor, Parker, Chase, and Dylan, as well as two siblings: William E. Bray Jr. of New Lisbon, NJ and Patricia Bray Owen of Penn Yan, NY. His family thanks his former colleagues, students and friends who supported him during his illness. Donations in his memory can be made to the Clyde D. McKee, Jr. Memorial Fund at Trinity College, Development Office, 300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or to Middlesex Hospital Hospice Home Care, 28 Crescent St., Middletown, CT 06457. A public celebration of Clyde's life will be held in the fall. Please visit Clyde's memorial website at www.dillonbaxter.com

Published in The Hartford Courant on May 26, 2011