William McKee

Obituary of William J. McKee

William (Bill) McKee passed away peacefully at the age of 74 on May 1, 2024, surrounded by his loving family as his favorite tunes from the 1960's played in the background.

Born on June 12, 1949 in Hornell, NY to Betty and Joe McKee, Bill lived a full and active life filled with many passions. He was a graduate of Eastridge High School, class of 1967. Bill attended Bethany College in West Virginia, where he earned a degree in History and Secondary Education, class of 1971. He looks back on his years and friends from Bethany as some of the best of his life - he would later revisit the college on several occasions to coach & work the annual summer soccer camp. Bill went on to earn a Master's Degree from SUNY Brockport in Education.

Over his 47-year teaching career he inspired thousands of students at West Irondequoit, Brockport, Churchville, Nazareth Academy, Bishop Kearney and Chesterton Academy. Bill taught with the spirit and exuberance that he applied to every facet of his life. His classroom was an environment where students were encouraged to discuss ideas, to challenge themselves, and to think critically both about the past and current issues. And of course, every lesson was accompanied by humor, banter, and his well-known "McKeeisms". In the 1993 Brockport HS yearbook dedicated to him, a student wrote "He has a unique quality of treating all students as equal, being our friend as well as our teacher. We have all come to know and care for him as he cares about us." His love of history and politics was contagious, and inspired legions of students to explore careers in education, political science, and other related fields. That same passion ensured his endless pursuit of knowledge of American and Global history, and he would often take any opportunity to use trivia as a way to educate anyone in the room.

Many will forever remember or refer to Bill as "Coach". He continued his throughline of education and life lessons through coaching mens & womens Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, and Softball. He subscribed to the philosophy that sport can teach young adults about determination, discipline, competitiveness, and ultimately how to win with grace & lose with class. In addition to the teams at every high school in which he taught, he was a coach for Olympic Development programs, annual camps like Bethany College and USA Soccer, SUNY Brockport, FLCC, and local club and travel teams too numerous to list. Bill was a head coach or staff member of 10+ Rochester Sectional championship teams. He also was honored as "Coach of the Year" 8 times throughout his career. Those that played for him will always remember his favorite sayings, including;

"Set pieces are dangerous"

"Square balls get intercepted"

"If you kill the ball, you kill the game"

"You're about a 20 dollar cab ride offside"

"Time equals space"

And of course - "ARGH!!!"

His obsession with sport spilled into support and admiration for watching several different leagues and colleges as well. Bill was an expressive and "animated" fan of Chelsea Football Club, Syracuse Orange, Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, and of course the Buffalo Bills. He had a deep appreciation for baseball stadiums and having a beer and a hotdog at the ball game.

Bill was extremely zealous about travel. His favorite locations included Hilton Head, the Adirondacks, Bethany, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, and of course, anywhere with historical significance. He also planned and supervised multiple trips to Europe with high school students, and most recently experienced his dream trip of visiting stadiums and watching soccer games in England and Scotland.

As a known animal enthusiast, Bill was extremely fond of his two Golden Retrievers and best friends, Max and Dempsey. He also developed an interest in bird watching, and often left friends and family wondering if he spent more money on bird seed and feeders than he did his own food expenses.

Bill was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He leaves behind his beloved wife and best friend, Kathy and his five children: Darren (Jamie) McKee, Kevin (Erin) McKee, Megan (Jason) Ayles, Kelley (Sam) Dattilo, Liam McKee and six grandchildren - Ryan, AJ, Charlie, Jimmy, Layla and Chase.

Bill McKee was a hero and role model to so many. He was respected, admired and loved and we are all better for having known him.

Visiting hours will be held on May 10, 2024 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm at the Paul Harris Funeral Home located 570 Kings Hwy S, Rochester, NY 14617. Bill will be with us in spirit with a smile and a Stella.

Go Bills.