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McKee Funeral Home
Route 50, P.O. Box 270
Augusta, WV 26704
Tel: 1-304-496-7077

Our facility is wheelchair accessible

Our History

 


McKEE Hollow House

  For more than 135 years, five generations of the McKEE family have dedicated themselves to providing a sense of comfort to West Virginia families through one of life’s most trying times. The business began in 1880, when local carpenter and farmer Welby McKEE single-handedly started building coffins in a small workshop next to his home on McKEE Hollow Road. Welby would then deliver the coffins to the bereaved family’s house with his horse drawn wagon. At that period, visitation and funeral services were held in the home. Three years later, Welby married Mary Catherine King, together they raised 11 children and he continued to build coffins. When in 1914 at the age of 74 Welby passed away, his sons Lee and Wade inherited the small business.

Welby McKEE


Wade and Nannie McKEE
In 1919, the business moved to Wade’s home and he purchased Lee’s share. Wade specialized in crafting coffins of oak and walnut, while his wife Nannie (Robinson) McKEE of Slanesville installed coffin liners and handled the bookkeeping. Funerals were still usually held in the bereaved family’s home rather than in another location.


Wade and Nannie McKEE residence

In 1929, Wade’s niece Betty Dale Snyder moved in with the McKEE family and joined the family business after graduating from Romney High School in 1945. Ten years later the first McKEE Funeral Home, a block building, was erected along U.S. Route 50 in order to accommodate the growing popularity of having viewings and services in funeral homes. When Wade was not using the funeral coach for funerals, it also served as an ambulance for the surrounding area.


Block Building



James B. and Betty Dale Pyles

In 1957, Betty Dale’s husband James B. Pyles of Augusta became active in all aspects of the McKEE Funeral Home. With new family leadership, the couple expanded the business by buying the Charles French property in Augusta and designed a more modern funeral home. The house was remodeled to include a chapel, casket room, and large garage. By October of 1964 the McKEE Funeral Home was able to open in its current location of Augusta, WV.


In September of 1969, James B. and Betty Dale’s son James R. Pyles graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, became a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and immediately joined the family business along with his wife Cheryl Loy from Rio. Cheryl’s skills as a licensed cosmetologist and licensed pre-need funeral consultant added a further level of professionalism and quality to the family business. Wade continued to work until his death at the age of 80 on October 24, 1970. Wade’s wife Nannie (Robinson) McKEE passed shortly after on December 29, 1973.

James R. and Cheryl Pyles


  James W. Pyles

Chad Pyles

In 1995, The McKEE Funeral Home of Augusta expanded the existing building to allow services for more than one family and to provide additional seating. Two years later on June 14, 1998 the Pyles family added a second location in the community of Baker, WV. James R. and Cheryl’s two sons both graduated from the Pittsburgh Mortuary School of Science, James W. Pyles,  in 1998 and Chad Pyles, in 2000. Both are licensed as a funeral directors and embalmers and have joined the family business. J.W. is married to Angela and has a daughter, Alexia. Chad is married to Jill and has two sons, Reed and Bryce. In 2001, the McKEE Funeral Home opened its third branch in the community of Romney, WV. On September 10, 2003 the McKEE Funeral Home lost a family member, James B. Pyles at the age of 79. Betty Dale remained an active part of the funeral home until her death on September 12, 2012. We continue to be a family owned & operated firm that has faithfully served our West Virginia communities for over 135 years & look forward to providing many more years of service.

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