Glendon and Eupha Hicks McKee say hello to their many friends

By Bob Weaver

Rev. Glendon McKee retired in 1997 from the United Methodist Church after 55 very active years. Despite numerous health problems, his concerns are still for the people of this community. Spending a few days in Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center, he said "It's been tough not to be able to walk. My legs are just too wobbly."

"I really love to preach the message of Christ," he said. "I would like to have done it up to my last day on earth."

Several years ago we wrote about Rev. McKee in one of the early printed editions of The Hur Herald.

CARRYING THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST - "The world has an open sore. A great wound across it, and that wound is not healing. And we think about humankind resisting the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and be healed." Word sermonized 40 years ago by Reverend Glendon McKee at the Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

After 55 years as a rural preacher for the Methodist Church, Reverend McKee is officially retiring after a devoted and persevering career preaching in Calhoun and Gilmer Counties. He retired from teaching English at Calhoun High School, where he touched the lives of many students, after 29 years of service. "I have made many friends along the way," he commented.

He was born on February 13, 1915 at Millstone into a family of three sisters and two brothers. His parents were George and Nora Ball McKee. In his early youth he said that from the hill behind his house he could see half the world, and never did he expect to be as far away from his house as he could see in either direction.

Reverend McKee married Eupha Hicks, daughter of Carl and Kate Smith Hicks in 1939, recently celebrating their 58th anniversary. They have two children, Roanna M. Stump of Grantsville and Reverend Roger G. McKee of Weston.

"After graduation, Glendon and I both went to work at Spencer State Hospital," recalls Eupha. "I was working to get money to go to Mountain State Business College. We had to sign a register when we left the building and I asked him one evening if he wanted me to sign him out. He said, 'No,' but later he followed me out and asked me to go to a movie." McKee later went to Parkersburg to work a stint at the Viscose and Eupha attended business college.

He describes himself as a shy, bashful boy. His brother, Gorden McKee, tells the story about taking the young preacher coon hunting. "He liked to go with the boys and on this particular night he went with Paul Bush and myself. In his hurry he forgot to bring his flashlight and he, being a preacher, was a little particular with his shoes and clothing. Every time we came to a mud hole, one of us would turn around and flash the light in his eyes and he would wade right through. It was fun for awhile."

After serving on the Glenville-Normantown circuit for five years, he has spent most of his ministry in Calhoun County as pastor of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church for 49 years in addition to the long-standing rural charge which currently includes Hur, St. Paul, Bryner Chapel and Sand Ridge.

"CLEANSE MEN AND MAKE THEM WHOLE" - Glendon McKee has always been an omnipresence in my life, although years have gone by when we have not seen or visited one another, in the darkest of days his quiet voice spoke to me to hang on, believe and do good.

Beyond my childhood days of church-going he was the man who came to Hur to marry and bury, and preach the Sunday sermons, transcending four generations of my family. he has always been there for me to appreciate or take for granted.

Quite frankly, he has been bigger than life, a granting of status which he would surely deny.

In 1957, a student at Calhoun High, my friend Ron Lynch and I produced a radio program for WPAR about his life. (We still have the recording). Thanks preacher, for your wonderful life...Bob Weaver, 1997.

Rev. Glendon McKee passed in 2004.