Obituary of John Andrew McKee
Andrew was born on August 13, 1971 and died tragically on March 3, 2022. He was a highly intelligent, kind, sensitive, generous man with a beguiling sense of humour. A wonderful Dad, Brother, Son and Partner. He leaves his beloved daughters, Maggie (18) and Abbey (16); devoted partner, Shelagh Allen; his cherished sister and confidante, Mary McKee; brother-in-law, Chris Pepper; niece and nephew, Sophie and Charlie Pepper; and his heartbroken parents, Susan and Angus.
Andrew loved his daughters beyond anything in the world. He had a special bond with each of them with secret jokes and routines that the three of them treasured. He always made sure to include them in special outings with trips to far flung reaches of the world like Bali, Austria, travels across Canada to long drives around the city. The girls and Andrew just recently drove to Washington, D.C. which was a highlight for all of them. He was so very proud of how both Maggie and Abbey have grown into the absolutely amazing young women they’ve become.
Andrew and his sister Mary shared a special relationship that only few people can share. They always “had each other’s backs” no matter what was going on. From day one he was her very proud and protective older brother. Through thick and thin they were a team. She is beyond heartbroken at his loss.
Together Shelagh and Andy built a wonderful life in Toronto, Georgian Bay and around the world. They loved each other deeply.
His parents, Susan and Angus, are devastated at his loss. Susan remembers how he was a sensitive, caring young boy who loved to chat and delve into people’s stories. Angus and Andrew shared many adventures together through the years, in life and business.
From an early age, Andrew drew people to him with his generous spirit and engaging personality. He made friends around the room and across the globe. He was an effortless athlete who often surprised opponents with his expertise on the hockey rink, tennis court or golf course.
He was extremely well read and was highly attuned to the world around him. He graduated from Upper Canada College and received his Executive MBA from the University of Edinburgh but those were only stepping stones to his bigger life adventures. He certainly didn’t like to be rushed and always took his time. Shopping with Andrew could sometimes be an exercise in endurance, but you often came home with something interesting and unexpected.
A loyal friend, Andrew could always be counted on. He stayed close with his many friends from his elementary and high school days. Known as Geeze by his high school buddies, he was an old soul in khakis and a blue blazer from an early age. Andrew loved laughing and great conversation. A quick wit with a highly tuned sense of sarcasm, Andrew wasn’t shy of pointing out your foibles. But as much as he gave, he could always take the jokes thrown at him. Andrew loved a black tie dinner or an expensive meal with copious amounts of champagne as much as he loved a drive-through meal and a bottle of Coke. Followed by a cigarette.
He was highly successful in his many business ventures and served as a senior officer and director of several public, private and not-for-profit corporations - including as the Past President and CEO at Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Over the past number of years he built a highly successful children’s gear distribution business, 5514Km Corporation. He zigged while others zagged – he thought differently and deeply about how to navigate the business world and was rewarded for his unique perspectives and insights. He was often called upon to provide advice and guidance to colleagues and competitors and his advice and counsel will be sorely missed by many.
Beyond the business world, he believed in helping out causes dear to his heart. His community involvement includes serving as the Chairman and a Director of the Stem Cell Network, and as the former Chairman, Past President and Director of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. He was recently appointed to Ryerson University's Board of Governors as a Lieutenant Governor-in-Council appointee.
Please remember Andrew for the amazing father, brother, son, partner and friend that he was.
He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues around the world.
Above all, Andrew treasured and adored his two amazing daughters, Maggie and Abbey. They have inherited his brilliance and they will continue to shine in his absence.
J. Andrew McKee - Funeral and Reception March 28, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
Andrew’s family invites friends and colleagues to a funeral service on Monday, March 28, 2022, 1:30 p.m. at Grace Church on-the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto followed by a reception from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. at The York Club, 135 St. George Street, Toronto.
A live stream of the service will be available on the Grace Church on-the Hill website https://www.gracechurchonthehill.ca/.
Proof of vaccine will be required at The York Club.
A dress code is in effect at The York Club. Gentlemen are required to be attired in a suit, tailored blazer or sports jacket and slacks with collared, long sleeved dress shirt, with or without a tie. Ladies are required to wear similarly appropriate clothing. No denim, casual wear or sports attire permitted.
A family interment is being held at an earlier date.
In remembrance of Andrew's life, the family asks that those who wish to express sympathy to please consider donating to charities that were important to Andrew. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (jdrf.ca), The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Georgian Bay Forever (georgianbayforever.org). Condolences may be made through www.humphreymiles.com.
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