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Joseph Dean McKee, age 50, of Hoover, AL died peacefully at home surrounded by family on March 14, 2023, 28 months after being diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. Joe was born on September 22, 1972 in Birmingham, AL to Harold and Annette McKee. He grew up in the Huffman area of Birmingham and graduated from Cathedral of the of Cross school. As a child, he attended First Baptist Church of Chalkville.
Joe began his firefighting career with the City of Irondale Fire Department on April 26, 1995. During his career he was promoted to the rank of Apparatus Operator (2002) and then to Lieutenant (2008). He graduated from Jefferson State Community College with an associate degree in Fire Science and then from Athens State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety. He retired December 31, 2021 after 26 years of dedicated and faithful service, publicly thanking Mayor Stewart and the citizens of Irondale for allowing him to serve them. Joseph had a true servant’s heart and lived every day of his life not leaving a single person behind.
Joseph fiercely loved his children, his family, and people in general. He was quick to laugh, forgave easily, and never took himself too seriously. He loved to be outdoors and to grow things. He purchased a small plot of land in Tuscaloosa County, dubbed as “The Forty”, where he spent countless hours hunting, planting trees, and scratching in the dirt with his tractor. That is where his heart was the happiest.
Joe is preceded in death by his father, Harold Dean McKee.
He is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Lana McKee. Daughter, Anna McKee of Hoover, AL. Sons, Ian McKee (Sara) of Birmingham, AL and Dale McKee of Hoover, AL. Mother, Annette McKee of Trussville, AL. Siblings, Jenny McKee of Riverchase, AL, Amy Paddock (Jason) of Springville, AL, and David McKee (Alecia) of Pinson, AL. As well as a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral Service will be held on Friday, March 17, 2023. Visitation 10:00-12:00, service at 12:00 in the Chapel at Church of the Highlands – Grants Mill Campus, 4700 Highlands Way, Irondale, AL 35210. Burial will follow at Jefferson Memorial Gardens, 1591 Gadsden Highway, Trussville, AL 35235.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to UAB Colorectal Cancer Research Fund (see mailing address below), to XVI @ XVIbham.org, or to a charity of your choice. The family asks that if you are an age of 45 or older that you consider scheduling your screening colonoscopy in honor of Joseph.
O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB
1720 2nd Ave. S, WTI 210
Birmingham, AL 35294
Memo: Colon Cancer Research
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