UNIVERSITY PARK —
Margaret “Rusty” McKee, 76, of University Park, went home to her Savior July 26, 2012, at her home.
Margaret Ellen McKee, daughter of James Dwight and Harriett Lucille Neff Picken, was born Feb. 26, 1936, in Oskaloosa.
She was raised on the family farm near Cedar and as an only child helped her parents with the many farming chores. She played basketball for the Cedar Consolidated Schools, where she graduated in 1953. While in high school, Rusty worked as a nurse’s aid at Mahaska County Hospital, a first job that would take her down a lifelong path of serving and caring. She attended nursing school at St. Joseph School of Nursing in Ottumwa, where she given the name “Rusty” because of her long red hair. She graduated in 1959. She worked in Ottumwa briefly before moving to California. While in California, Rusty met Howard Edwin McKee of Montezuma, Iowa, and they married in 1963. They lived in several communities in California, and Rusty worked at numerous hospitals. In 1976, Rusty and her three children returned to Iowa to the family farm near Fremont and in 1980, she moved to her home in University Park. Over the years, she worked at the Knoxville veterans’ hospital, Mahaska County Hospital, Oskaloosa Home Health Care and lastly at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, from which she retired in 1998.
Rusty’s passion in life was Jesus Christ and living out His love to many people near and far. Rusty was a member of the Gateway Church of the Nazarene; she attended mid-week services at the Jubilee Family Church and Sunday evening services at the Omega Church. Following her retirement, Rusty volunteered at the homeless shelter in Oskaloosa and drove many friends to doctor appointments in Iowa City and Des Moines. She sponsored children in India and Equador for many years and corresponded with them regularly. Rusty helped raise two grandchildren and at the time of her death, they were on a mission trip, which she made possible.
Her family includes her two sons, Michael (Catherine) McKee of Des Moines and their children, Megan, Brandon, Nathan, Ryan and Mary; son, Aaron (Kara) McKee of Odell, Ill., and their children, Kelsey, Kaitlynn, Jamie and Karson; and daughter, Laura McKee of University Park and her children, Madison and Josiah.
Rusty was preceded in death by her parents.
A service celebrating Rusty’s life will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Gateway Church of the Nazarene; with Pastor Mark Miller, Pastor Bill Tvedt and Pastor Ralph Sprunk officiating. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel, with the family present from 5-7 p.m. to greet visitors.
Memorials may be made to the Gateway Church of the Nazarene and will be designated by her children at a later time.