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John Moncrief ‘Monte’ Bee

Memorial services for John Moncrief “Monte” Bee are Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Northminster Baptist Church. 

Visitation is Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 3 p.m. in the Great Hall at Northminster.

Mr. Bee died Friday, March 11, 2016. He was born Mary 30, 1931, in Brookhaven to Marguerite and John W. Bee.

Monte was often called a true southern gentleman – a title he lived up to until he took his final breath. In recent years, he suffered from dementia but he never lost his joy, charm or sense of humor.

It’s not often you meet a man like Monte Bee.  He was gracious, charming and loved by all who knew him. He always considered himself a very blessed man and he daily referred to the many blessings His Lord and Savior bestowed upon him.  The greatest blessing of his life was his vivacious wife, Jean. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on March 7, 2016.  No woman has ever been more adored by a man. He praised her daily and wanted everyone to know how lucky he was to have married “That Jeanie Bee.”

Monte was born in Brookhaven to Marguerite and John W. Bee on May 30, 1931.  After an idyllic childhood in Brookhaven, Monte attended Ole Miss where he received a degree in business administration and law.  While at Ole Miss, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  Monte served as president of the law school, president of his legal fraternity and business manager of the Mississippi Law Journal. He was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.  From 1953 to 1955, Monte served in the United States Air Force in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Monte and Jean moved to New Orleans in 1957 where he began a successful career as an attorney.  He was president and chairman of The Kullman, Inman, Bee, Downing and Banta law firm. In addition, he also enjoyed teaching labor law at Stanford University and Texas A&M.

While in New Orleans, Monte was very involved in the community. He served on the board of the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and was an adviser to the New Orleans Museum of Art. He also served on the board of various corporations and organizations.  Monte was a faithful member of Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, where he served as deacon, elder and taught Sunday school.

He was a member of many New Orleans social organizations and carnival krewes including the Rex Organization, the Krewe of Achaeans, The Pickwick Club, The Stanford Club, Metairie Country Club and New Orleans Country Club.

During their time in New Orleans, they spent most weekends with family and friends at their home in Point Clear, Alabama, where he enjoyed playing golf at The Lakewood Golf Club.

Upon retirement, they moved to Jackson, where they became members of the Country Club of Jackson and enjoyed being reacquainted with many friends from their Ole Miss days.  Monte remained devoted to Ole Miss and was a member of the Business Advisory Council for the University and established the Jean and John M. Bee Scholarship in Law.

From a young age, Monte was passionate about the game of golf.  He was the back-to-back champion at the Kirtland Air Force Base and went on to win six various club championships. In 1987, he qualified for the United States Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship. In addition, he made seven holes in one and first shot his age at 72. As a couple, Monte and Jean traveled the United States playing golf with the U.S. Seniors Golf Association. He particularly enjoyed his memberships at The Gulf Stream Golf Club in Florida and The Highland Falls Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina. He also loved cheering for the Saints and the Ole Miss Rebels, particularly No. 18.

Monte was an entertainer and his presence captured a room!  His many friends and family enjoyed his singing while playing the piano or ukulele. He had the extraordinary gift of telling a joke or just a good ol’ story.  Everyone who knew him loved him. He had a twinkle in his eye, and his smile lit up a room and made each day brighter.

In addition to being a devoted husband and father of three cherished daughters, Monte was a very proud and loving grandfather of six and enjoyed many happy times with his six great-grandchildren.  As he would say, the Lord had blessed him beyond measure.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and his sister, Betsy Bee, of Tallahassee.

Survivors are his wife, Jean Barfoot Bee; daughters, Bonnie Bee Thompson (Doug) of Dallas, Texas; Susan Bee McNamara (David) of Jackson; Betsy Bee Scott (Michael) of Libertyville, Illinois; six grandchildren, Liza Thompson Sorgenfrei (Brian) of Starkville, Clark Thompson (Mollie Frances) of Fort Worth, Bee McNamara, Miller McNamara (Ann Louise), Chandler Scott and John Scott; and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Manning Family Fund UMMC, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216 or at Manningsforhealth.org.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4.