John David Kees

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 9, 2007

Ret. Lt. Cmdr. John David Kees, 92, went to be with our Lord onMarch 28, 2007. He died at the Veteran’s Administration MedicalCenter in Washington, D.C.

Born on July 11, 1914, and raised in Brookhaven, he was agraduate of Brookhaven High School. He attended Copiah-LincolnJunior College and graduated from Whitworth College, LouisianaState University and later, Columbia University.

Upon graduation from LSU, he traveled the United States andCanada as a drummer in a professional jazz orchestra. He was thenemployed with an investment banking firm in New Orleans, La.,subsequently joined the United States Navy and became a navalaviator.

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On Dec. 7, 1941, Kees was on duty with Fleet Air Wing II atPearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific for two years and then inBrazil with a patrol squadron, engaged in anti-submarine patrol.After World War II, he served aboard the aircraft carrier USSPrinceton during the Korean Conflict. He also served aboard theaircraft carrier USS Badoeng Strait and at various naval airstations across the United States.

A longtime interest and hobby in dramatics led to his becoming aprofessional actor and director. He studied acting at BerghofStudio and directing at Circle-in-the-Square. He received amaster’s degree in theater, film and television from ColumbiaUniversity.

In September 1991, Kees moved to the Armed Forces RetirementHome in Gulfport, where he still loved playing drums with the localjazz band, “Seniors” and acting at the Center Stage. AfterHurricane Katrina, he was evacuated to the Armed Forces RetirementHome in Washington D.C., where he spent his last days with manyclose friends. He will be missed dearly.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Green Kees andMary Elizabeth Kees.

He is survived by his daughter, Tamara Kees Moore, of Pensacola,Fla.

Services will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2007, atHarrigill Funeral Home, followed by interment of cremains atRosehill Cemetery.