J. Brian McKee, 78, of Charles St., Malone, died Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at CVPH Medical Center, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Born on May 29, 1939, in Malone, N.Y., he was the son of Alvin James, a longtime probation director for Franklin County and Catherine (St. Marie) McKee, one of Malone's quintessential legal secretaries. Also, Mr. McKee's grandfather Harry McKee helped to build the original Alice Hyde Hospital.
Mr. McKee graduated from Franklin Academy in 1957 and was a 1961 graduate of Cornell University majoring in Industrial and Labor Relations. He entered on duty with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in 1962 as a civilian special agent at the New York City Resident Agency. This followed a tour of active duty with the U.S. Army (Military Intelligence) and employment with the Malone Police Department. While attending Cornell University, Mr. McKee was also employed as a full-time police officer at Ithaca, N.Y.
Following additional NCIS posting as the Resident Agent at Albany, N.Y., Mr. McKee served a five-year tour in Europe. During this tour of duty, Mr. McKee was trained and certified as a Federal Polygraph Examiner. From 1971 to 1974, Mr. McKee served as the Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Resident Agency at Washington, D.C.
Following a similar tour as the Special Agent in Charge at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Mr. McKee was reassigned as the Special Agent in Charge at New York City. He was transferred in 1979 to NCIS Headquarters where he served tours as the Senior Staff Assistant to the Director, as the Assistant Director for Administration and finally as the first ever Assistant Director for Law Enforcement and Physical Security Programs - a Department of the Navy billet created to bring together all facets of management of the Navy's total law enforcement and security missions, operations, and resources.
Mr. McKee directed a number of highly publicized espionage investigations in the 1980's which resulted in the arrest and conviction of more than ten persons actively engaged in espionage against the United States. This included the Moscow Embassy spy scandals, the Walker espionage ring, the Morrison espionage case and others.
Mr. McKee was reassigned in 1984 as the Regional Director for the NCIS Northeast Region and in 1986 was selected for Senior Executive Service and duty as the second civilian Director of the Naval Investigative Service, a two-thousand-person federal law enforcement agency.
Mr. McKee was a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and, while Director of NCIS, was active in and served on various committees of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff's Association and INTERPOL. Mr. McKee served for three years as one of the United States delegates to the INTERPOL General Assembly. In addition, Mr. McKee served on various committees of the Law Enforcement Explorer Scout Program.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including Presidential Commendations by Presidents Reagan and Bush for outstanding management in the field of law enforcement and by Attorneys General Meese and Thornburgh for outstanding federal service. At the time of his retirement in 1990, Mr. McKee was recognized on the floor of the United States Senate for his many contributions to the law enforcement profession. He has additionally been recognized by the federal law enforcement agencies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Japan and the Philippines for special contributions to international law enforcement efforts. The United States Secret Service presented its Honor Award to Mr. McKee in recognition of his contributions to Presidential security and the New York City Police Department has inducted Mr. McKee into its Honor Legion in recognition of his contributions to the operations of that agency.
Mr. McKee was an experienced criminal investigator with strong capabilities in the criminal investigative, foreign counterintelligence and personnel and physical security areas of the profession.
Mr. McKee retired from federal service in 1990 and maintained his residence at Malone, N.Y. He owned and operated the McKee and Associates Investigative and Security Services, Inc., an association of former and retired special agents from the F.B.I., Customs Service and the Naval Investigative Service. The firm provided investigative services to the U.S. Customs service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, local governments, private attorneys and numerous large corporations. He was also a former owner of the Gateway Motel of Malone.
Mr. McKee was a licensed Private Investigator in the State of New York and held the appropriate bond, insurance and licenses.
Mr. McKee had been appointed as an Administrative Law Judge (Hearing Officer) in the State of New York and had served in that capacity in matters of police officer discipline and misconduct by senior civil service officials in local government.
Mr. McKee has taught criminal justice courses for north country police academies and lectured at the Malone campus of North Country Community College.
Mr. McKee was the former President of the Association of Retired Special Agents of the Naval Investigative Service. He was a life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.
Upon returning to Malone following his retirement, he was active in a number of civic and community affairs. Most significantly was his devotion to the Rotary Club of Malone which he served as Director and Treasurer for many years. He was largely responsible for the annual recognition of Malone educators and the yearly memorialization of its deceased members, resulting in the planting of many trees at Malone's Rotary Memorial Recreation Park. He was honored for his community contributions by Rotary International in 1999 as Paul Harris Fellow. He was also active in the United Way of Franklin County, serving as that public service organization's Campaign Chairman. He was a member of the American Legion and the Malone Lodge of Elks where he served as chairman of the Lodge's Trustees. He was a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Alice Hyde Medical Center and chaired the Development Council of the Alice Hyde Hospital Association Foundation. A longtime parishioner of Notre Dame Church at St. Andre Bessette parish, he was chairman of the Holy Family School Foundation Board. In 1997 he was honored as "Archbishop" of the Malone Winter Carnival. He was appointed a member of the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board in 1998 and led that organization for many years. In that same year, he became a member of the Advisory Board for the New York State Department of Correctional Services.
Finally, Mr. McKee was a credentialed Special Investigator, with appropriate top secret security clearances, and worked, under contract, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Customs Service, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Department of Defense and numerous other federal agencies.
Brian is survived by his faithful companion Charlie IV, an aunt, Jane McKee Drake of Malone, cousins McCarrick Drake of Malone, Charles "Archie" McKee of Malone and Andrew McKee of Malone.
Brian was predeceased by his parents, cousin Bess McKee Hanna and Charlie I, Charlie Too and Charlie III.
Brian McKee was a great man. As his survivors we are privileged to share his accomplishments with you, because he never would have. In his honor we ask that you strive for success, do good and be humble.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in the spring. Details to follow. Donations in his memory may be made to Holy Family School and the Malone Village Police Department.
Memorial contributions may be made in the name of James Brian McKee to the Holy Family School Annual Fund: 12 Homestead Park, Malone, NY 12953 or the Malone Rotary Club: PO Box 451, Malone, NY 12953
Arrangements are with St. Mary-Murphy-Wilcox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be offered at www.chateaugayfuneralhome.com.
Published on February 26, 2018