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Honoring the Life of My Mother, Anne Hennessey Corbett McKee

Marie Corbett Anne McKee
Marie Corbett with Anne McKee

After reading Marie Corbett's novels, it's evident that she and her mother didn't always see eye-to-eye. However, one thing they undeniably share is a life worthy of recognition. Marie is dedicated to promoting women's stories and inspiring others to do the same. Her mother Anne spent a lifetime serving her community and promoting the arts.

Here, Marie shares the obituary written for her mother, Anne McKee, who passed away on May 19, 2024, with Marie and family by her side.

Anne McKee is seen here featured in The Anne McKee Artists Fund Fine Art Auction publication dated Friday, February 9, 2024 in Key West, Florida.

The Anne McKee Artists Fund


Anne Hennessey Corbett McKee cherished mother, arts supporter and community leader passed peacefully in Key West, Florida on May 19, 2024, at the age of 100 in the presence of family. Predeceased by her husband Michael Corbett and by her husband Ross McKee and eight brothers and sisters, Anne is survived by her daughter Marie (Brenda), sons John (Kathy) and Brian (Nancy); grandchildren Kimberley (Randy), Cheyenne (Jeff), Nicholas (John), Darrell and Edward (Gabriela), Christopher (Margaret); great-grandchildren Sky (Greg), Paige, and Amber; Logan, Bailey, Aidan Ross, and Laine; Rowan and Cortland; great grandchildren Willow and Sterling; stepchildren Joan, Drew (Linda), Barbara (Jeff), and Hayward.

Born in Avondale, Newfoundland, Anne, a World War II widow, moved to Montreal, Quebec to give her three children wider educational opportunities. With her unfailing belief in the importance of education, she proudly raised her children who became a judge, a lawyer, and an accountant.

Anne retired in 1971 as the first woman supervisor at Aviation Electric and moved to Key West where she lived a life of romance, adventure, and community service. In 1976, she married Ross McKee, columnist and community activist. Together they made annual trips to Canada, maintaining homes in Avondale and Toronto and travelled the world. Their Key West life was filled with the arts, community service, local and national politics, and many good friends.

Anne worked for the betterment of the communities in which she lived. She has been tireless in her support for the arts. She was Chair of the Monroe County Fine Arts Council, trustee of the Florida Arts Alliance, a member of the Florida Keys Arts Council, charter member of the Key West Cultural Commission, a director of the Florida State Cultural Alliance, and a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Anne will be best remembered for establishing the Anne McKee Artists Fund in 1992 which continues to provide project-based grants to artists, performers, and writers.

Anne was a member of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church and started and supported the annual Christmas concert featuring leading performing artists of Key West for over 30 years. She served many other organizations: member of the Council of Florida Libraries and of the Laureate Delta Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, and President of the Retired Officers Wives Club.

Her tireless efforts have been recognized. In 1993, the City of Key West proclaimed November 20 as Anne McKee day. The Key West Women's Club honored Anne as Woman of the Year in the Arts. In 1998, the Keys American Red Cross named Anne the Humanitarian of the Year. In 2017, Ann was the recipient of the Golden Mango award from The Studios for her lifetime commitment to the arts. The Board of Directors of Samuels House, a haven for homeless women and children, awarded Anne the Woman of Integrity Award in 2000.

In Newfoundland, Anne has established scholarships for students at Roncalli High School in Avondale. She helped to restore the steeple of the Assumption Church built by her father in 1912 in Avondale. She established Avondale Hennessey Park, a nature preserve on ancestral lands in the Blue Hill Pond area. Her activism and that of others in the Avondale Heritage Society resulted in the preservation of the last mile of the railway track and the preservation of the Railway Station and Museum.

Anne has served her many communities and given generously to family, relatives, and friends. As Anne said "I get things done" and she did.

Anne's family is grateful for the outstanding care given by the Amedicis Hospice team, Joy, Kayla, Arrika, and Elaine. We thank Dr. Brian Wagstaff, Anne's excellent family doctor and Dr Roger Steinfeld who provided care and friendship for Anne for over thirty years. Special thanks are extended to LeEtta Aquaro, Zulia Almyasheva, and Sandy Higgs for years of support and love.

After cremation, the ashes will be interred at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and at Avondale Assumption R.C. Cemetery. At Anne's request, a celebration of life will be held in Avondale, Newfoundland at a future date.

The family requests that donations may be made to the Anne McKee Artists Fund in Key West, FL and to the Town of Avondale, NL for Hennessey Park.

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