Albert Kingston McKee, Jr.


Albert Kingston McKee, Jr. (“Bert”) died at home on December 16, 2023, surrounded by family and friends. Bert was the victim of an inoperable malignant brain tumor, a glioblastoma multiforme.
Bert was born in Pasadena on February 1, 1961, to Veva Eilers McKee and Albert Kingston McKee, both native Californians, joining sister Kim. Sister Jennifer was born four years later. Bert was a standout athlete at San Marino High School where he played football and baseball and ran track. He sometimes left a baseball game to run the anchor of the 4 x 100 yard relay and then returned to centerfield to finish the game. His senior season, Bert was first team all-Rio Hondo League and third team all-CIF in football, scoring 17 touchdowns and rushing for over 1,300 yards. His 2,349 rushing yards accumulated over the 1978 and 1979 seasons was a record that lasted for almost 40 years.
Bert played two seasons of football at Pasadena City College before transferring to UC Berkeley (Cal) where he played one season of football before switching to rugby. In rugby, Bert found his true calling, playing on the 1983 national championship team as well as the 1984 team. After graduating from Cal, Bert played rugby in Australia for about six months before returning home to join the family lumber business.
Bert met his wife Catherine (Lynch) when they were students at Cal, and they married in 1990. Son Timothy was born the following year, followed by daughter Shannon 19 months later. The family enjoyed traveling, especially for beach vacations and to Berkeley to cheer on their beloved Golden Bears. Bert and Catherine often spent weekends supporting Tim and Shannon at their sporting events all over Southern California. Bert was an excellent and adventurous cook and bartender.
If it was a game or a sport, Bert would play it, and probably play it well. He enjoyed surfing, skiing and swimming, and loved a competitive game of golf, tennis or volleyball. He loved exercise of nearly any kind, and could often even be seen stretching, sometimes in public places, often embarrassing his children.
Bert was successful and admired in the lumber industry for over 44 years. He represented the industry locally and nationally and was the fifth consecutive generation to lead the family lumber business which began in San Francisco in 1850. Most recently Bert was the sales manager at Parr Lumber Company in Chino.
Bert was a deeply loyal friend who maintained friendships over long periods of time and long distances. He was very close with several friends he met in seventh grade. In September, Bert’s son Timothy married Amanda, the daughter of one of those friends, Mark. Although he was feeling the effects of the tumor, radiation and chemotherapy, Bert, along with Mark, made a moving and humorous speech at the party following Tim and Amanda’s wedding.
Bert is survived by his wife Catherine, children Timothy (Amanda) and Shannon, father Albert Kingston McKee (“King”), sisters Kimberly Heyn (Chris) and Jennifer Fritz (Jason), stepbrother Amos Smith (Kim), and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Bert was a man of great faith, which brought him comfort during his fight with cancer. He never felt sorry for himself or asked, “Why me?”
A service honoring Bert’s life will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 10:30 a.m. at ONE&ALL Church, 1404 W. Covina Blvd., San Dimas, California with a reception to follow at the Via Verde Country Club, 1400 Avenida Entrada, San Dimas.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to glioblastoma research. A research fund has been set up in Bert’s memory with checks payable to Cedars-Sinai, memo line “IMO Bert McKee to support Dr. Rudnick’s research.”
Attn: Gifts Administration
6500 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1650
Los Angeles, CA 90048-4972