Pat taught us: “At any time, if you’re feeling anxious, you can close your eyes, feel your heart beating in your chest, feel the breath in your lungs. This is God’s constant, moment-to-moment reminder that you are so loved, that you are where you are supposed to be, and that everything is exactly as it should be.”
Pat was present, he was passionate, he was curious, he was caring, and he shone through adversity.
Patrick McKee was born February 28, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia to Thomas and Mabel McKee. His family moved to Florida when he was 9 years old, and he lived in Jacksonville until moving to Gainesville for college at the University of Florida. Pat then moved to Minnesota to study theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville. He quickly adopted all things Minnesotan, including Nordic skiing.
Pat met his wife Rita Felling at the University of Minnesota Newman Center when he was completing his MBA at Carlson and Rita was working as an RN in St. Paul. They celebrated their wedding reception at the Felling Family Farm and shared marriage, faith and adventure for 38 years.
Pat worked with churches and with many businesses providing management consulting, sales and systems engineering. He taught management at St. John’s University in Collegeville. He also taught at the Minnesota School of Business, St. Mary’s of Winona, and Unity High School. He coached his kids’ soccer teams and Rochester High School Nordic Ski team. He skied many Birkebeiners and Vasaloppet races and did triathlons in the “off-season.” He taught Sunday school, confirmation, RCIA and many adult enrichment and faith formation classes.
Pat’s Eagle Scout heart was alive in the woods and in the mountains, and many McKee Family Road Trips brought the family to Colorado hiking trails, North Carolina mountain lakes, and many national parks in addition to the annual road trip to visit his family in Jacksonville.
Pat was a man of deep faith and integrity and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a proud brother and a friend who invited others into his love of Nordic skiing, Irish Fair and Interstate Park volunteering, wood chopping, and business ideas. He also inspired community through his work with Iraqi refugee families and members of the Dakota community.
Pat proudly called every time he renewed his driver’s license to say that he “checked the box” to be an organ, tissue and eye donor. He generously gave the gifts of tissue and eye donation, a legacy we all celebrate.
Left to honor Pat and celebrate his life are his wife Rita (Felling); children Patricia (Ben Franske), Katie (Matthew Webster) and Mark; grandchildren Isaac, Meg and Wendell; his brother Tommy; his sisters Judy and Cathy; his Fitzgerald cousins, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved and who laughed at his jokes.