“She was also a member of a local book club, and members would get together and discuss what they were reading,” Kevin Hartling told the Herald. “But she was just always there, any time of the day or night.” Of her work as a teacher in Malverne, he added, “Her job was always a prominent part of her life. She was someone you could talk to — she made learning fun, and was always there for students when they had a problem. She devoted time to each student.”
Outside the classroom, relatives said, McKee enjoyed a variety of hobbies, from reading to traveling. Kevin recalled a trip several family members made years ago to Niagara Falls, and said that his aunt also traveled often across the U.S., visiting areas including Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C.
Asked what he would remember most about her, Kevin said that she was one to surround herself with family. “She was the matriarch of the family,” he said. “She’d play with me and my cousin when we were little. She was very family-oriented.”
Friends and family members said she would always be remembered for her kindness, her benevolence and her willingness to help others in East Rockaway and Malverne. “She had Our Lady of Lourdes, and also her blood family,” Kathleen Hartling said. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of love and care from the Our Lady of Lourdes family, and by everyone. Mothers of children she taught said she influenced their lives. My sister liked to say, ‘To teach is to touch a life forever.’ She left an impression.”