James G. McKee III, 75, of Bensalem, a retired computer technology executive and vice president of the Bucks County NAACP, died Monday, May 2, from pancreatic cancer at the Statesman Health and Rehabilitation Center in Levittown.
Mr. McKee worked as a sales representative for Exxon Corp. before joining Honeywell, where he was an early pioneer selling computer hardware in the 1970s.
He moved from sales representative to executive and sold and established software and computer networking systems. Among the companies he worked for was Informix Corp.
“He was also politically active and was a strong voice in Bucks County and beyond,” said his daughter Envy McKee.
In addition to his work with the Bucks County NAACP, he was a founder of the Bucks County Coalition for African American Concerns.
The organization advocated for fairness and equality for Black students and teachers in Bucks County schools.
Mr. McKee’s wife, Deborah, said that if any schools mistreated any of their three children — Envy, Tiphani, or Jamie — her husband “did not hesitate to get involved to make it right.” Not only for their sake, “but for the other Black families in Bucks County also.”
“[He] cared about his family and wanted to take care of us the best he could,” she said. “… He never missed a track meet for Tiphani or a football game for Jamie, and was at every play, pageant or show for Envy.”
Mr. McKee also volunteered with Men of Purpose, a group whose members served as tutors and mentors for young boys in Trenton.
James G. McKee III was born June 5, 1946, in Reading, Pa., to Catharine Nelson McKee and James G. McKee II. He was the youngest of seven children.
His daughter said Mr. McKee wanted to follow the examples of strong men in his family who demonstrated that they could accomplish much with hard work and professionalism.
His father had been the first Black police captain in Reading. His grandfather had owned a barbershop in Reading, and his cousins owned and operated Terry Funeral Home in Philadelphia.
“He was influenced by the men around him and seeing what they were able to do,” his daughter said.
As a child, Mr. McKee developed an affinity for cowboy lore from television programs like The Roy Rogers Show.
He continued his love of TV westerns and rode horses, practiced sharpshooting, and was known to wear cowboy hats and western shirts throughout his life.
He played football in high school and continued to play in college, first at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. He later transferred to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
He joined Phi Sigma Beta Fraternity at Cheyney and graduated in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
He then went to work at the Spiegel Catalog company in Northeast Philadelphia where he met Deborah Hickson, a coworker.
The two were married on May 1, 1971, a union that lasted 51 years, until his death.
For a number of years, Mr. McKee’s work in the computer industry meant moving his family around the country. The family finally settled in Yardley, his daughter said.
After their children grew up, the McKees moved to Bensalem
Mr. McKee formed his own consulting company, JGM III Consulting, where he focused on recruiting talent for computer companies in India.
In addition to his travels to India, Mr. McKee visited many other places, including Italy, South Africa, France, Spain, and Mauritius.
Envy McKee said her father loved dressing up in tuxedos and attending black-tie or white-tie formal dances.
He was a member of two well-known Black social clubs: Ye Olde Philadelphia Club and the Viri Viginti Club, which started in Philadelphia in 1914.
The club, whose Latin name means “20 gentlemen,” is believed to be the oldest Black social club in the Commonwealth.
She said he loved speaking and often emceed at the formal dances the clubs sponsored. He also played golf and enjoyed singing and playing the electric guitar.
In addition to his wife and three children, Mr. McKee is survived by two grandchildren, two sisters, one brother, and many other relatives and friends.
A funeral service was held May 11.