McKees many gifts
Jim McKee, the former Yellow Springs police chief who died last week,
will be remembered for many things. His 36 years with the police force.
His passion for
Yellow Springs. His caring, friendly nature. The help he gave so many
people. Chief McKees influence on this town cannot be measured by
any scientific means. But it
can be understood through the words of his friends and colleagues, those
who said they were proud to call him a friend.
Mr. McKee meant a lot of things to a lot of people. He was the cool cop
who easily took control of a situation. He was the dedicated community
leader. He was the mentor who always had sage advice. He was the guy who
knew everybody. He was the man who actually meant it when he asked you
how you were doing.
When Mr. McKee retired in 1993, former News editor Don Wallis wrote that
wise friend is perhaps the best description of Mr. McKees
role in the community.
In an interview this week, former police officer John Winks described
how former residents who returned to town would stop in to see Mr. McKee
and thank him for the things he helped them with. Though many of these
people may have been in trouble at one point in their lives, Mr. Winks
said, they always had enough respect for the chief to see
Since he retired, a plaque commemorating Chief McKees years of service
has hung on a wall outside the Police Department in the Bryan Community
Center. The plaque says:
Realist and Dreamer
Leader and Listener
Proud of his profession, Humble in his Humanity
Gadfly and Peacemaker
Champion of Children
Collector of Clocks . . .
Whose gifts to the Village of Yellow Springs are forever timeless
In just seven lines this plaque says so much about the things Chief McKee
gave us: his passions, his ideas, his friendship. We all should hope to
have such things written about us.
Jim McKee may have left us in body but his many good deeds will live on
in Yellow Springs forever.