Christian 04
Official Obituary of

The Rev. Christianne L. McKee

June 10, 1953 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old

The Rev. Christianne McKee Obituary

The Reverend Christianne L. McKee, age 70, passed away on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at Pacifica Senior Living Center in Ellensburg after a long-standing struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  She died peacefully with her wife at her side.  She was surrounded by the love of family and friends – both near and far – during her last days.

Christianne was born on June 10, 1953 in Fort Worth, TX to Marvin and Christianne Behnke McKee.  She was the oldest of four children and loved to tell stories of growing up with her siblings Kathryn, Jim, and Mary, and their adventures together.  She loved her siblings fiercely through thick and thin.

She graduated from R.L. Paschal High School and then attended Texas Christian University for one year before transferring to the University of Dallas where she obtained her undergraduate degree in theology. 

Christianne was a trailblazer in the Episcopal Church from a young age.  Not content with being part of the junior choir and altar guild, Christianne set about to become the first girl acolyte in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.  As an adult, she explored her calling from God in a variety of ways, including two attempts at monastic life.  Eventually, Christianne attended Nashotah House Theological Seminary where she obtained her Masters of Divinity. 

Christianne was ordained to the priesthood in 1987, the fourth woman priest in the Diocese of Dallas.  She served churches in Denton and Sanger, Texas, along with being the Episcopal Campus Minister for the University of North Texas, before becoming the Curate for St. Thomas the Apostle in Dallas, TX. 

It was at St. Thomas that Christianne met her wife, Cindy Bruns.  Their relationship was blessed by the church in the Diocese of San Francisco in 2003 and they were legally married in the Diocese of Spokane in 2013.  Their daughter, Aidan, was born in 2006 in Dallas, TX.  Christianne loved helping Aidan discover the wonders of the world, and develop her creativity, imagination, and excellent vocabulary.  Her favorite time with Aidan was making up elaborate bedtime stories together and watching her dance.  Christianne was endlessly proud of Aidan and the person she is growing to be. 

Christianne was also a loving aunt, delighting in her sister Kathryn’s children Lyra and M and the wonderful people they have become.  A prouder aunt there never was. 

Christianne and her family moved to Ellensburg, WA in 2009.  In Ellensburg, Christianne served as a supply priest for Episcopal churches in Ellensburg, Roslyn, Yakima, and Sunnyside.  In her later years, Christianne revisited her early monastic aspirations, becoming an Aspirant with the Anamchara Fellowship, a dispersed monastic community within the Episcopal Church. 

In addition to her priestly ministry, Christianne was an accomplished pianist, guitarist (including classical guitar), and vocalist.  She excelled at computer programming, working as a programmer for OMI (later Retalix) for many years while living in Dallas.  Her programming skills and ability to find errors in code earned her the title “Bug Queen” from her colleagues. 

It is difficult to sum up the life of someone who was as full of life as Christianne.  She was someone who loved family and friends fiercely, who always kept her child-like wonder in God’s creation, loved adventure, was quick to laugh and a quicker intellect, and never knew a stranger. She was also a deep lover of God, of theology, and of her priestly ministry in all its forms. She allowed God to shine through her in all she did.  She will be missed deeply by everyone whose life she touched. 

Christianne was preceded in death by her father, mother, and unborn son, Robert Marshall McKee Bruns.  In addition to her wife Cindy Bruns and daughter Aidan McKee-Bruns of Ellensburg, WA, Christianne is survived by her brother James McKee of Foley, AL; sister Mary McKee of Fort Worth, TX; and sister Kathryn McKee of Charlottesville, VA and her (adult) children Lyra McKee also of Charlottesville, VA and M McKee of Portland, OR. 

Memorial donations can be made to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund (P.O Box 3006, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0024) or the Human Rights Campaign (hrc.org). 

The Rev. McKee’s funeral will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at Grace Episcopal Church in Ellensburg. Clergy, white stoles. Viewing for family and friends will be from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the same day at Johnston & Williams in Ellensburg. A service will also be held at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Dallas with details to be announced.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Ellensburg.  Online condolences may be left for the family at www.johnston-williams.com   

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Services

Viewing
Wednesday
March 13, 2024

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory
301 E. 3rd Ave.
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Funeral Service
Wednesday
March 13, 2024

6:30 PM
Grace Episcopal Church
1201 N. B Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926

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