Archie Leroy McGehee, 87, of Ottawa, passed away Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at his home with family by his side.

Private family graveside services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at Wabaunsee Cemetery, Wabaunsee, Kansas. Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on Archie’s Tribute Wall at

Archie was born May 3, 1932, in Manhattan, Kansas, the son of Roy and Ida (Conrow) McGehee.

He spent his youth truck farming, raising melons, sweet corn and livestock in the Moehlman Bottoms and Zeandale area. Archie graduated from Manhattan High School with the class of 1950. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University in 1954 and a Master’s degree in business from Texas Christian University in 1966. After completing his education, Archie joined the Air Force as a navigator/bombardier and left the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Captain in 1967.

Archie was united in marriage to Cecilia Jewett and her crazy Cuban family of 17 brothers and sisters in 1957.

He is survived by his wife, Cecilia, and children, Debbie Lair (Jeff), of Lenexa; Sam McGehee (Chris), of Wichita; four grandchildren, Jennifer Marasco (Matt), Sara Lair, Meghan and Samantha McGehee; great-grandchildren, Titus, Bram, Mabeline and Lottie Marasco; and two brothers, Richard and John McGehee.

Archie was preceded in death by his parents and one child, James Alexander.

His work life included stints at Sinclair, Bendix in Kansas City; General Dynamics in Fort Worth and Henry Manufacturing/Allis Chalmers in Topeka.

Archie later retired from Haven Steel in Kansas City and Ottawa. He was credited with two patents for the telescoping forklift mast and hydraulic actuators. Later in his life, Archie also dabbled in real estate and collectibles from auctions where he never passed up a dollar bushel basket. He was an avid KSU fan with attendance at most football games from 1958 until last year when his health forced him to give it up.