As the Sun shone down on his beloved West Virginia hills, Wayne Lee McBee left this world to be with the lord on July 8, 2019.
He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years Patricia Ruth (Rogers); a daughter and her husband Lisa and Walter Granados; a son and his wife, Shane and Kathleen McBee; three grandchildren, Garret McBee, Ciercy McBee, and Athenae Granados; and two sisters, Joann Anderson and Edith Wentz.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Evelyn (Shaw) McBee; three sisters, Juanita Streets, Ann Campbell, and Wilda Matlick; a brother, Gordon McBee; and his firstborn son, John Wayne McBee.
Wayne Lee McBee was born on Hackers Run, Barbour County in 1932. He always liked to remind everyone that even though the doctor did not arrive in time, forcing his father to assist in his delivery, that the doctor still charged them fifteen dollars, due to the fact that he was such a strong and handsome baby boy.
The days of his youth were spent trapping and fishing across Barbour and Randolph counties. A proud graduate of Philippi High School, Class of 1950. Wayne obtained an Accounting degree from West Virginia Business College.
From there he went to work for Youngtown Steel, before being drafted into the United States Army. He served honorably with the 101st Airborne Division in both Korea and Japan, rising to the rank of Sergeant.
After completing his service and returning home, he by chance met Alice Rogers on the walk through Philippi. Mrs. Rogers invited him to call upon her daughter, Patricia. Patty Ruth maintains that her mother just “liked the look of him” Apparently, Patty did as well.
Patricia Ruth Rogers married Wayne Lee McBee on June 3, 1956. They lived in Morgantown whilst Wayne obtained a degree in Forest Management from West Virginia University in 1959.
On December 1, 1959, Mr. McBee began his employment with the Virginia Department of Forestry. He served Virginia as both Forester and Fire Chief before accepting a position as Superintendent of the Augusta Forestry Center in Crimora, Virginia in 1967. He went on to become Superindent of Nurseries throughout the state, and was honored as a Lifetime Member of the Society of American Foresters.
After giving the Department almost thirty-five years of hard work and dedication, in turn making Virginia’s reforestation program the envy of many across this great land, Wayne retired and followed those oft-refrained “Country Roads” back home to Barbour County.
Being retired, for Wayne meant having the chance to get to work. He built his bride a grand new “homeplace” on Stewart’s Run and helped his eldest boy with any and all endeavors. He did stop working long enough to travel across this land he loved so much, becoming particularly fond of Alaska and the time spent there. Mr. McBee never stopped “doodling” on any piece of paper he found available, planning out his next great project.
Wayne McBee was as fine a man as has ever drawn breath. The love and care he provided his family was quite possibly unmatched, his kindness to friends unwavering.
Wayne Lee McBee will certainly never be forgotten by those who knew him, but his true legacy resides elsewhere.
If you ever stop to take in the beauty of the Blue Ridge of Allegheny Mountain, or the seemingly endless pine forests of Southeast Virginia, please send a small thanks or quick tip of the cap his way, for you are without a doubt enjoying some of his loving handiwork.
Friends will be received at the Wright Funeral Home 220 N. Walnut St. Philippi on Thursday July 11, from 3-8 pm and on Friday July 12, from 8 am – 2 pm. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 pm. Interment will follow in the Mary’s Chapel Cemetery.