Betty Ann Platin McKee of Bourne died on November 2, exactly one month shy of her ninetieth birthday.
She is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Caroline and Greg Anderson of Bourne, and Joanna and David Christopher of Mashpee, along with her granddaughter Michele Anderson of Seattle, WA. She was married for nearly 62 years to Robert Curtis McKee at the time of his death in 2017. She was also pre-deceased by her son Robert (Robbie) Curtis McKee. Jr., her sister Marjorie Elinor Platin and her parents Gertrude Annie (Anderson) Platin and Oscar Birger Theodor Platin.
Betty was born in Manchester, NH, and grew up in nearby Concord. She was a member of the Class of 1946 at Concord High School, where she was voted “Most Witty,” (which, she’d remind you, was different than “funny.”) Upon graduation, she joined the spirited “Chicks of ‘46” alumni group, then attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in French.
While she could have succeeded in many professions, her love of learning drew her to teaching. She taught at Berwick Academy in Maine and Sanborn Seminary in New Hampshire, which earned a very important place in her heart. There, she mentored students in the Class of ‘55 for four years and continued to attend their reunions well into her eighties (and their sixties!). She also met her husband, Curt McKee, there. Although she chided the “rookie” for cutting his summer vacation short to arrive early for his first year of teaching, she soon befriended the easy-going New Yorker who’d toss her his car keys without a second thought and type up her lesson plans so she’d have the evening free to date him.
The couple moved to Falmouth in 1958, where Curt continued his teaching career at Lawrence High School and Falmouth High School. Betty was a substitute teacher in the Falmouth public schools and taught evening courses at Bridgewater State College.
Betty was a voracious reader. She also had nearly total recall. The combination made her a great conversationalist, fearsome Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit opponent and admirable genealogist. She doggedly traced the McKee line back to the 1600s to discover an ancestor who worked at the Grist Mill in Sandwich before seeking his fortune in Plymouth. She loved living by the ocean, visiting the desert and going home to the mountains. Although she enjoyed living in three Upper Cape towns, she always considered Falmouth home. She adored word puzzles, PBS, all things British, movies and the Hollywood Stars of the gilded-age. During her advanced years, she often mimicked Bette Davis, saying, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
Betty lost many close friends and missed them dearly, especially Lorna (Hadley) Rhodebeck; Pauline (Averill) and Dick Clancy; and Anne and Theodore Tavares of Falmouth. Up until her death, she was still closely connected to her surviving childhood friends, Joanne Heartz and Betty (Ahern) Lamphier.
Above all, Betty was dedicated to her family. Her husband was her best friend. She supported her daughters in every endeavor and embraced their husbands as true sons. She also considered Falmouth natives Sean and Brian Tavares her “boys” and took great interest in their lives.
Betty died peacefully in her home at the very moment the ship’s clock on the mantle began to chime the hour, a sign she was reunited with her husband and son. A private burial was held on November 8. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the McKee Family Scholarship of the Scholarship Association of Falmouth to support students who plan careers in teaching. (P.O. Box 369; Falmouth MA, 02541, www.falmouthscholarship.org)