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James Campbell (JC) McNee
JC McNee, 91 years old, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, passed away on Feb.14, 2019, surrounded by family and machines. He was born Oct. 13, 1927, the only child of James and Queene Campbell McNee. He was Dr. Titus's first C-section delivery. JC graduated from Chase County High School in 1945 and attended Kansas State, where he met his future wife, Janice Elizabeth Nuttle. They were married for 70 years until her death in 2017.
JC had a passion for machines. In his 20s, he raced stock cars, jalopies (The 101), and motorcycles. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle until he was in his 80s. In his 30s, he was a licensed pilot and flew a Tri-Pacer and a Beech Bonanza. He always had a pair of pliers in his pocket, ready to fix anything.
JC was a man of ideas and had a number of businesses throughout his life. He owned/managed Flint Hills Transportation, McNee Hardware on Broadway Street in CWF, and The Derby, a 24-hour service station in Strong City. He was a buyer of stocker/feeder cattle and, with Jim Barr and Wayne Ward, owned Flint Hills Livestock Sales in Florence. He and Janice raised Appaloosa horses and shipped horses to the east coast for sales that JC organized. After this, he worked for White & Ellis, Squeak's Drilling, and Harry Hughes, before going to the Dept. of Conservations as a sub-surface investigator and tool dresser. He then bought into Fred Hinkle's salvage company, creating H & M Salvage. This became McNee Drilling and Metals after Fred's death. JC ran McNee Drilling and Metals from 1969 until his death, most recently transporting metals and drilling water wells with the help of Tim Lawrence. He was the oldest member of the Kansas Water Well Association at the time of his death.
JC lived in Chase County his entire life and served as County Commissioner from 2010- 2014. He was a member of Zeredatha Lodge #80. He was supportive of Corner House and served on the Board of Directors for a number of years. JC was heavily involved in AA and sponsored many people. He was proud of his own sobriety and of those he sponsored. His AA birthday was May 13,1976. JC believed in second and third chances and in helping others.
JC enjoyed the yearly family camping trip to the Buffalo National River in Arkansas, his grandchildren, his daily phone calls with his children and friends, trapshooting, and his dogs. He always had a Casey's coffee cup at hand and was looking for a project. He will be remembered as a fixer of motors and machines and a friend to many people.
JC is preceded in death by his parents, wife Janice, and son James. JC is survived by his children: Janet (Preston) Harness, Highland, KS, John (Valerie), Jacksonville, AR, and Jerry (Sallie), Stilwell, KS; grandchildren: Merideth (Shane) McEntire, Courtney (Niels) Harness Klok, Hilary (Dan) Roberto, Emily (Russell) Roberson, Elaine (Beau) Kemp, Wesley (Leah) McNee, and Jerriann (Anthony) Yorkovich; and great-grandchildren: Simone, Quinn, Campbell, Will, John Henry, Grant, Gavin Campbell, Finn, Kasey, Braylon, and Jaydon; brother-in-law: James (Mary) Nuttle, Jr.; sisters-in-law: Gretta (Albert) Ross and Eda Jean (Jim) Woolf-Nixon; nieces and nephews; and his AA family and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church in Cottonwood Falls, with visitation at noon and service at 1 p.m. Private inurnment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, PO Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845 or to the Emporia Animal Shelter, PO Box 845, Emporia, KS 66801. Online condolences may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com or Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home on Facebook.