Flossie Wilma (Lea) McGee passed in her sleep Saturday morning, April 16, 2022, in Mission Viejo, Cali. where she had lived in care for several years.
Flossie was born Aug. 28, 1924, in Lakin, Kan., to Alberta and William Rowe. She had an older sister, brother and a stepsister.
Strained family circumstances and the smallpox epidemic, from which Flossie almost died, compelled Bill Rowe to foster Flossie to a childless couple, Mabel and Clinton Lea. Mr. Lea was an itinerant house painter and interior decorator and for this reason Flossie spent her first years traveling between Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming and Washington state, where she started school at age 6.
By the time she was 8 years old, the depression found the Lea’s settling permanently in the Meeteetse area. Flossie graduated from Meeteetse High School in June of 1940 at the age of 16.
She loved nature and often said her favorite place was the Wood River where she hiked and picnicked with her family and then with Bob McGee, whom she married, Dec. 17, 1941, just days after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Flossie and Bob attended the University of Wyoming in 1942, where they were purported to be the only married couple on campus, where she studied nutrition. When Bob was called up to serve in WWII, Flossie, being pregnant with their first child, returned to Meeteetse in 1943. After the birth, she lived with her mother, Mabel Lea, and worked at the telephone company in Cody.
Bob and Flossie raised five children – Frank, Don, Lea Ann, Margaret and Dorothy Amanda. They lived in the Big Horn Basin, mostly Cody, until October 1961 when they moved to Los Angeles. In the 1960s Flossie went back to work for the phone company, this time at GTE (Verizon) in Santa Monica, working there until her retirement in 1991.
Throughout the years, Bob and Flossie returned to Meeteetse and Cody annually in the fall to check on property they owned and to see friends and family. They also bought property in rural San Diego County in Valley Center, making it their home in 1993. But soon after, Bob passed while they were on their annual trip to Meeteetse in June 1994.
In 2004, Flossie sold the Valley Center property and moved to The Willows a retirement community in Laguna Hills where she lived until she had a series of strokes. During those years Flossie had become an avid walker. Each evening she walked for a couple of miles, greeting several people daily and sharing her bright, stunning smile with all.
Flossie was grandmother to Robert McGee, Patrick McGee, Richard McGee, Kimberly Lyons, Drew Roddan, Shaun Strange, Spencer Roddan, Sarah Van Deweghe, Eric Gerger, Kyle Gerger and Emily Gerger (soon to be Sholes). Flossie was mother-in-law to Cecilia McGee, Linda McGee, Brooks Roddan, Manfred Gerger and Scott Strange. She is also great-grandmother to 13. Her oldest, Samantha McGee is a freshman at Fullerton College where she has been an honors student for both semesters. Her youngest great-grandchild is Wesley Gerger, born to Kyle and Natalie on March 4, 2022, in Los Angeles.
Flossie’s joy in her family and her indomitable spirit will be missed by all of her family and her many friends.
Flossie will be cremated in California and her ashes will be interred here with her husband in the Riverside Cemetery.