Wednesday, July 18, 2007

William (Bill) D. McKee

William (Bill) D. McKee

William (Bill) D. McKee was born Jan. 15, 1957, to William and Charlotte McKee in Bellfower, Calif., and died tragically in an automobile accident in Hailey on July 14, 2007.

Bill grew up in the Long Beach area with his three sisters and one brother. He enlisted in the Navy when he was 17 and lived in Victorville, Calif., where he met and married his first wife, Jeri Vipperman. They had two children, Stacy Anne and David William. Bill had many occupations in life and worked as a mechanic on everything from heavy equipment in the mines to fine automobiles and motorcycles. He also worked in all areas of the construction industry.

Later divorced, Bill moved to Idaho and was working in Hailey when mutual friends insisted he and Melinda go on a date. Two years later, they moved to California so he could go build and drive race cars with his father. With the birth of their daughter, Nicole, the pair decided Idaho was the place to raise a family and moved back in 1990.

Bill loved the outdoors and insisted on living life to the fullest. There were never enough days in the week to do everything he loved to do. There was boating, camping, water skiing, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, riding his Harley and working on his hot rod. Friends often brought their motorcycles over to the garage for Bill to work on. He could fix anything and everything and was always building something. He didn't believe in idle moments and wouldn't stop to just do nothing. Any time that was spent in the house he would spend cooking. He loved to barbecue more than anything and was the chef for every family function.

Last but not least was work. Bill was employed by Engelmman Inc. and enjoyed building houses almost as much as engines. Bill and Melinda rode many miles together and were always planning their next big adventure. However, during the past six months, Bill devoted all his time to his hot rod, getting it ready for the races. Almost done, it took him to his death.

Over the years, Bill acquired many friends and family members and will be missed by all. Preceded in death by his father, William James McKee, he is survived by his wife and constant companion, Melinda J. McKee of Hailey; daughter, Nicole McKee of Twin Falls; and son, Coltan Quigley of Bliss. He is also survived by two children from his previous marriage, Stacy Huntington and David McKee of Utah; his mother, Charlotte Malcolm of Bakersfield, Calif.; brothers and sisters, Pamela McKee, Barbara Clifton, James McKee and Marianne Kernan, all of California; six grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins; his mother-in-law, Donna Bach; his father-in-law, James Bach; and brothers and sisters by marriage with whom he was very close, Paul and Karen Bach, Mark and Sandra Bach, Pete and Michelle Elliott and Derek and Celene Bach.

Cremation was under the direction of the Wood River Chapel. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 22, at Hop Porter Park in Hailey. Everyone is invited to attend and share.

Here's to you, Bill, for playing full-out and living full throttle!

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