Chareen V. McKee, 87, of Woodhull, Il, left this world the morning of October 20th 2019 following the blessedly brief devastation of a stroke. The gentle grace of medical staff at St. Francis Medical Center Peoria assured the peace of her final hours with family at bedside. Chareen lived fully, independently until those final two days. We hold both grief and gratitude.
Born April 21,1932 in Moline, IL, eldest daughter of Judson and Vivian Nimrick. Preceded in death by brothers Delbert, Rodney and sister Andrea, spouses Asa McFarlin (divorced) and Thomas McKee (widowed). Survived by sister Wanda Wilson (Woodhull, IL), sons Bret (Des Moines, Ia), Brian (Shelby, NC), Bradley (Wailuku, Hi), and daughter Julie Colard (Jacksonville,FL), best friend and daughter-in-law Terri (Brian), ten grandchildren, four great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, especially the extended Wilson family with whom she had grown ever closer and beloved.
After graduating from Alpha High School and beginning a family, Chareen worked as an early IBM computer key punch operator, owned and managed the iconic McKee Diner in Alpha, followed by retail positions within Pompano, Fl resorts and Eichhorn Jewelers, Galesburg. She found her way and stood her ground on a path that led from Alpha and Woodhull to Denver, southern Florida and back to Illinois, first Galesburg and finally back to Woodhull.
Always dressed smartly with a fondness for good shoes, she loved a lingering meal out with loved ones and perhaps a glass of wine. Her extensive reading of political history led to a disdain for those willfully uninformed, easily manipulated, entrenched in various bigotries while she evolved from Goldwater Republican to an Independent awaiting a suitably populist female president.
Age brought more than a bit of contentment, a quiet softening, much affection. Strong opinions remained yet she had little left to prove.
Following cremation our mother, sister, grandma, friend, loved one returns to the oceans she loved. We now live within her afterlife, love remains.
Following cremation family will perform private memorials. In accordance with her wishes there will be no public services. Online condolences can be left at www.petersonwallinknox.com. Memorials in her name may be left to charities of the donor's choice.