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Peter M. McKee, former Catholic Diocese purchasing director

Feb. 12, 1948 – Feb. 8, 2016

Peter M. McKee, of Grand Island, former director of purchasing for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, died Monday in Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence, Lewiston, after a lengthy struggle with an autoimmune disorder. He would have turned 68 on Friday.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1965 graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

After working for a year in New Jersey, Mr. McKee moved to Grand Island and worked as a chemical engineer for Lucidol, Polymer Applications and other companies, then joined the Diocese of Buffalo after he received a master’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo.

As director of purchasing from 1984 to 2007, he and a staff of 13 at one time oversaw purchasing and accounting for 350 parishes, 100 schools, seven hospitals and 15 nursing homes. He was a past president and board member of the National Catholic Group Purchasing Association. Through that group, he met Pope John Paul II.

In 2008, he returned to engineering with Lender Consulting Services in Buffalo, where he provided technical oversight for construction and brownfield cleanup projects. A senior vice president with the company, he retired in 2012.

Mr. McKee served on the Town of Grand Island Zoning Board of Appeals for 16 years and was its chairman for 10 years. He also served for six years on the town Planning Board and was a member of the town’s Long Range Planning Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Town Board in 1999.

He also was a member of the Erie County Environmental Management Council and the board of directors of Ronald McDonald House.

Active in St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, he was president of the Parish Council in the 1980s and served on the Committee for the New Church.

He was a past president of the Notre Dame Club of Buffalo and Western New York and a recipient of its Award of the Year honors in 1981. He helped run a weekend bus trip for 100 fans to Notre Dame football games for more than 40 years and served on the Notre Dame National Alumni Board. He was an avid golfer.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, the former Diane Wallace; a son, Christopher; a daughter, Kathleen; and a grandson.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Newman Center at UB North, 495 Skinnersville Road, Amherst.