I had this week’s column all ready to submit, when a broker in my office shocked us all with the news of the sudden passing of William McKee, Founder and President of McKee Properties in Cashiers.
I just stared at my colleague, blinking, and tried to absorb the news – my mind was reeling. I could not (cannot) fathom that the intensity of the light that was William McKee was no longer shining.
The column I had planned to write, therefore, would not be the column I would ultimately write.
In addition to being a supremely talented real estate professional, William McKee was an inspiring, determined visionary and civic leader who worked diligently to bring his ideas into reality.
McKee was founder of the Cashiers Community Fund, and most recently, he and Andy Roddick founded the Mountain Challenge, a tennis exhibition to fund the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau.
Among his many, notable, real estate achievements, McKee referred both Buyers who vied for purchasing the Sagee Manor estate, which sold for $12.545 million.
Bradley S. Klein of Golfweek.com wrote a winning quote about McKee: “It’s amazing how lucky smart people can be.” Klein was referencing McKee’s successful development of the Wade Hampton Golf Club, in partnership with his sister, Ann McKee Austin. Wade Hampton is routinely (and is currently) Golfweek’s No. 1 ranked residential golf course. This quote speaks volumes about McKee’s success, and how he created it through steadfast persistence in pursuing his vision.
Klein’s words are also great instructions to the rest of us: each of us possesses the ability to do great work, positively impact our communities, live fully, embrace our families and friends, and enjoy untold success. You can, after all, create your own luck.
As I remember William McKee, the following words come to mind: family, community, philanthropist, adventurer, bicycling enthusiast, energy, developer, golf, and, of course, real estate. The White Oak Realty Group family extends our deepest sympathies to our friends and colleagues at McKee Properties and to the entire McKee family. We deeply hope that they may find comfort in this very trying time.
I understand that the McKee family has asked that those wishing to honor William McKee’s memory may make a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau, POB 1812, Cashiers, NC 28717.
Let’s write two checks today – one to the Boys & Girls Club in honor of William McKee, and one to a charity of your choice in honor of your living your best life every single day.