Robert Edward McBee
September 16, 1923 - March 29, 2016
Robert Bob Edward McBee was born September 16, 1923 in Portland, Oregon. He went to be with Jesus in the early morning of March 29, 2016 dying peacefully in his sleep at Salem Hospital. He lived in Portland, Gresham & Boring, OR, and then moved to Salem, OR. He is survived by his bride of 68 years, Muriel Eddy McBee, their daughter, Carolyn M. McBee of Sherwood, OR, and his sister, Gloria June Murray of Prineville, OR.
Robert was the second son of Alfred Edward McBee and Gladys Leila Gossett McBee and brother to Charles Lee Alfred McBee deceased and Gloria Murray. He graduated from Sandy High School in 1941. Prior to graduating from high school, he did an assortment of jobs and general farm work. Following his return from the military, he attended Hastings Business School in Portland and Portland State University.
Robert was drafted into the Army Air Force on March 13, 1943. He attended Army Administration School and was transferred to England to serve as a shipping and receiving clerk. Later, he was transferred to France and Germany to process troops redeploying to the U.S. He was discharged on February 27, 1946 with the rank of Sergeant Major.
After the military, he returned to the grocery business and then Robert was hired to work in the IBM Service Bureau in Portland. Eventually, he worked for the Finance and Administration Department to the Secretary of State. His last position was with the Department of Employment, a task group working with five states and the federal government to develop an automated system of matching people with jobs. He retired on March 1, 1982.
Robert was an ordained Elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Superintendent of Sunday School for three years, and with his wife served for three years as advisor to the Youth Group. He was a life member of the Masonic order since 1957, a Scottish Rite Mason (33rd Honorary Degree), Al Kader Shrine, served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Masonic Low Twelve Club, served on the Board of Directors for the Scottish Rite Foundation (chairman for 3 years), served as President of the Salem Shrine Club and President of the Scottish Rite Foundation for Childhood Language Disorders.
Bob had an avid interest in gardening and growing things. He had an incredible green thumb and grew lush begonias, fuchsias, geraniums, roses and kept an immaculate landscape. He kept orchids and other hothouse varieties in his greenhouse. He crocheted scarves and blankets to give away as gifts, which was a skill he had acquired as a child. He loved camping, traveling, ballroom and square dancing and he loved to surprise his wife with parties. He was very proud of designing and building his own house on Delaney Road in Turner, OR where he had animals and had a huge garden.
Throughout his life, Bob enjoyed laughing, teasing and finding ways to be quietly generous to others. He enjoyed many friends at Westminster Presbyterian, dancing clubs and those with whom he played pinochle. Bob loved unconditionally and made everyone in his life nephews, nieces, goddaughter & extended family feel loved and important. He will be sorely missed on this earth, but will be at heaven’s gates to welcome us home with open arms when we join him.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances be given to Westminster Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund and/or Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Thursday, April 14th at 2:00 p.m.