John Gilbert McBee

Born: Tue., Jun. 18, 1929
Died: Wed., Aug. 28, 2019


12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Tue., Sep. 03, 2019
Location: Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop

Recitation of the Rosary

7:00 PM Tue., Sep. 03, 2019
Location: Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 AM Wed., Sep. 04, 2019
Location: St. Mary's Catholic Church

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John Gilbert McBee, D.D.S.

June 18, 1929 – August 28, 2019

John loved Pendleton, his family and his ducks: the University of Oregon kind, and the kind he would hunt.

He was born on June 18, 1929 and played football, basketball and track for Pendleton High School. An accomplished musician, John won the district award for piano, played the saxophone and formed the infamous band, "Scream and Flee with John McBee".

He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1952 and in 1958 received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loyola University in Chicago, IL. He practiced dentistry in Pendleton from 1959 until retirement in 2000.

He was very active in dentistry and served as President of the Oregon Dental Association, President of the Eastern Oregon Dental Society and President of the Oregon Society of Dentistry for Children. He also served on the staff of the University of Oregon Dental School and was a Fellow of the International Academy of Dentistry and was named Oregon Dentist of the Year in 1972. He was also a founding member of the Oregon Dental Association. He recruited many dentists and doctors to serve rural Eastern Oregon and championed many economic development initiatives for the area.

He was appointed by the governor to serve for eight years on the Oregon Board of Dentistry and was also appointed to the disciplinary board of the Oregon Bar Association for 10 years.

Active with the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce, he served as president 1997-2000 and was named the Chamber Man of the Year in 1985. He received the Pendleton's First Citizen Award in 2001.

He served on the Pendleton School Board for nine years and served as chairman, as well as serving as chair of the Umatilla County Schools Board Association. His support of Pendleton educators led to a 1971 petition with 130 teacher signatures imploring him to remain on the school board, a document he treasured. He also served as chair of the Oregon 2A High School State Basketball Tournament for six years.

He was a 43-year member of the Pendleton Foundation Trust and served as its president several times. The Pendleton Foundation honored him for his stewardship of more than $2 million dollars directed toward community projects with a bench bearing his name in Pioneer Park.

He was president of the Little League Association and a 60-year member of the Pendleton Rotary Club, 48- year member of the Elks Lodge and longtime member of the Knights of Pythias. He was chosen as “Tender Foot” of the Year by the Main Street Cowboys.

First and foremost was John’s wife and children: he enjoyed following his their activities in school, sports, careers and families. He also was passionate about sustainable hunting and fishing with his many Labrador Retriever companions and family members. He was recognized for his wildlife conservation efforts on his beloved "Tooth Acres" farm south of Pendleton.

John will be lovingly remembered for his compassion, generosity, humility, values, uncompromising principles, work ethic and enormous wit.

John was married to Carolyn for 66 years and has five children: Kathleen (McBee) Chadwell of Cannon Beach, OR; John M. and Debbie McBee of Pendleton; Patrick and Lisa McBee of Lake Oswego, OR; Richard and Alisha McBee of Dallas, TX; and Marilyn (McBee) and Randy Martell, of College Station, TX. He had seven grandchildren, Brian McBee, Kelli McBee, Patrick McBee, Katie McBee, Nichole McBee, Annie McBee and Michael McBee. He is survived by his sister, Mary (McBee) Koch of Pilot Rock and nieces Mary Ann (Koch) Low and Susan (Koch) Talbot. He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert McBee, his mother, Birdine McBee Hollenbeck and brother-in-law Richard Koch.
Visitation is from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3 at Pendleton Pioneer Funeral Home Folsom-Bishop. A funeral mass will held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Wednesday, September 4 at 10:30 a.m., immediately followed by a celebration of life luncheon in the parish hall.

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