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Raymond L. McKee, 81, went to be with his Savior on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, surrounded by the love of two daughters, two granddaughters and two sisters. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday at Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Myers & Smith Chapel with the Rev. Monroe Teeters and the Rev. Randy Cotton officiating. Burial will be at Mount Olive Memorial Park.
Raymond was born June 6, 1932, to Lewis and Veda (Walker) McKee in rural Howard County. As a young man, he went to work for Smith & Coleman Oil Company. Later changing professions, he went to work as a used car manager for Pollard Chevrolet and Farris Pontiac.
He had a love for music and in his spare time he played stand up bass at the legendary Stampede with Hoyle and Ben Nix. He became fast friends with Hoyle's son, Jody Nix, who was just a child. They remained lifelong friends and Jody was faithful in his weekly visits until Raymond's passing.
He enjoyed rodeos and was a calf roper. He introduced his children to horses at a very young age when he taught them to compete in the Howard County Youth Horseman Club and Rodeos. He followed bull riding for many years. In 1975, Raymond moved to Salado, Texas, where he and his wife Joan founded Cowboy's Bar-B-Que. At that time, he acquired the nickname "Cowboy" and to many that is all they knew him by.
In 2001, he returned to Big Spring to be closer to his family where he rekindled old friendships and made new ones. At that time, he became a born again Christian and a member of Salem Baptist Church. His jokes and sense of humor made him a joy to be around.
Raymond is survived by four daughters, Verlinda Phillips and husband Stanley, Rhonda Hayes, Brenda Canady and husband Clifton, all of Big Spring and Terra Lawerence and husband James of Tyler; two sons, Rance McKee and wife Cindy of Belton and Preston McKee and wife Gloria of Hobbs, N.M.; and seven sisters, Rachel Shaffer and Neva Shaffer, both of Big Spring, Mary Eggleston of Midland, Sue Whitaker of San Angelo, Karen Murphy and husband John of Odessa, Jennie Shaw and husband Ronald of Smyer and Delores Andrews and husband Ray of Odessa.
Raymond was preceeded in death by his parents, Lewis and Veda McKee; one sister, Frances Thomas; one grandson, Bryan McKee; one son-in-law, Dr. Robert Hayes; and four brothers-in-law, L.B. Thomas, Jack Shaffer, Roy Shaffer and Bill Eggleston.
Pallbearers are Rance McKee, Preston McKee, Joey Fernandez, Zachary Fernandez, Trevor Williams, Chad Williams, Ricky Prater and Joey Jackson. Honorary pallbearers are Ty Lawrence and James Lawrence.
The family would like to give special thanks to Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation staff, along with Crossroads Hospice staff for their gentle care and compassion.
Arrangements are by Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Pay your respects online at www.myersandsmith.com