Farming Rural 17

Arthur "Art" McBee

June 15, 1941 ~ July 15, 2022 (age 81)


Arthur Gordon McBee, 81, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on July 15, 2022 after a sudden medical event. Art, as everyone called him, was born in Alto, Tennessee, on June 15, 1941, to William Edward “Todd” and Georgia Garner McBee. He relocated to Chicago Heights, Illinois, in 1956, where he met his wife Marcella Hanes McBee. They were married on September 14, 1963. Returning to Tennessee in 1965, he lived in Decherd and Normandy with his growing family. 

Art is survived by a large family and many close friends, including his wife Marcella, son Stephen (Joanie), daughters Ellen (Ben Warner) and Sally Halpin, grandchildren Jack, Teddy, Jacob, Allison, Daniel, Kate, and Mikayla, sister Sylvia Curtis (Pat), brothers Ralph and Dennis, special friend Dot Holden, aunt Helen Rhoads, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews, all of whom are convinced they were his favorite. He was so cheerful and generous that all of them are correct. He is predeceased by his parents, brothers James, Bruce and Mike, and sisters-in-law Faye, Juanita, Mary Kay, Helen, and Marlene. 

Art’s joy in life was his family, particularly his grandchildren. He was a terrific grandfather, as well as a husband and father. We have always admired how patient he was with Steve’s lack of expediency, Ellen’s insistence on every journey having a destination, Sally’s disregard for his or anyone else’s opinion, and Marcella’s predilection for collecting plastic bins. Art also taught his children patience by doing everything “after while,” which turned out to be 4 hours and 52 minutes if we were lucky. His greatest weakness was his communication skills; he never knew why they invented the telephone, in spite of working at the phone company for 28 years. He also loved the holiday season, spending most of it taking naps and explaining why it was okay to microwave the turkey.

After retirement, he became a long-distance truck and escort vehicle driver, which allowed him to enjoy seeing the country, meet new friends, and find the best potato logs, tamales, and pork rinds in America. His favorite hobby the last few years was watching television westerns, including many we had never heard of. It turned out it was because they were awful. He also brought his discerning food skills to every meal, telling us exactly what he thought of it, introduced some of us to the joys of air frying, and was an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves, football, and of many types of racing. He was always pulling for the underdog, or anyone playing against the Yankees. He had a wonderful sense of humor, which he used to torment his wife, get his children in trouble, and entertain his many friends, relatives, and innocent passers-by. He planned to celebrate his ninety-seventh birthday, which will be on June 15, 2038, and we invite everyone to celebrate for him by telling a funny story in a British accent and threatening to drive on the wrong side of the road.

We know he is in a better place, where he is finally getting some help around here. 

Art was a kind-hearted man, loved by everyone. He always knew the right things to say to help people get along. He was a very forgiving person, and encouraged others to be the same way. Art never met a stranger; his vast collection of anecdotes and jokes made him welcome wherever he went. After his accident in February 2021, Art worked hard at becoming mobile again with the help of his brother Dennis. Home repairs, hot food, and Amazon orders were provided by Sally Halpin, Pam and Chris Rhea, Ben Warner, Sylvia and Pat Curtis, and many others. He was unfailingly cheerful and welcoming to his visitors and we will never forget the many ways he could say “hello” when we arrived. His passing leaves a large hole in the hearts of his family and we will miss him every day.

Funeral arrangements will be provided by Watson-North Funeral Home in Winchester, with visitation with the family on Wednesday, July 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, with eulogy by his cousin Charles Garner. Interment will follow at Mt. Garner Cemetery.

Per the family's request, everyone in attendance is required to wear a mask and practice safe distance.

This obituary written and submitted by his loving family.



July 20, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Watson-North FuneralHome
405 Sharp Springs Road
Winchester, TN 37398

Funeral Service
July 21, 2022

11:00 AM
Watson-North FuneralHome
405 Sharp Springs Road
Winchester, TN 37398

© 2022 Watson-North Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility