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Thomas Frank McKie, also known as “Tom” or “Tommy”, born in Boron, California, on January 24, 1970, to Thomas Melvin McKie and Delia Frances Kirby, passed away on November 12, 2023. Thomas grew up in California alongside his brother Michael Wayne McKie, starting out in California City, and then moving to Bakersfield in 1976. Thomas went to West High School, and played football in his sophomore, junior and senior years, and graduated in 1988. He was destined to play football at University of Michigan and then hopefully onto his favorite NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers, but as fate would have it, he injured his right knee, and life took its course.
Thomas was a member of one of the biggest online social media platforms back in the 90’s, some of you might remember it, America OnLine (AOL). And in August 1996, he stirred up a friendship with the one that would steal his heart forever, Stephanie Anne Blitz. They officially met on September 13, 1996, when he bought her a roundtrip ticket to fly to California, and they enjoyed two weeks together before she returned to Virginia. This is where she was living at that time. Besides their constant chatting online and speaking on the telephone (which cost almost an arm and a leg back then), it was love at first sight when she departed the airplane in San Jose. October 22, 1996, Thomas drive out to Virginia, after getting off from work, making short pit stops along the way, an overnight in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he arrived in Virginia early morning on the 24th. He was so proud of himself, and very excited because Stephanie had agreed to move to California, and he drove out all that way to pick up her, her daughter Ashley Nicole, and all of their belongings for the long haul back. Ashley was only three years old, getting ready to turn four on Halloween. Even she was excited for the move; they all arrived back in the California on the 26th. They initially lived in Tracy for a couple of years before moving to Bakersfield in June 1998. Bakersfield seemed to become a permanent residence until July 2015, where Thomas and family trekked to Texas, and that became home sweet home.
Thomas became permanently disabled when he was 27. He took his hand to several different hobbies throughout the years, to include video online racing NASCAR to playing Call of Duty on the computer to playing on Playstation 3 and 4, most recently PS4 online to being an avid Scion car club member of five prominent clubs: Scikotics, HFD, Scion Apocalypse, Alpha Squad and an honorary member of Team Koshak (there are probably some that are missing, too). It was with the car club scene that Thomas made a name for himself. He’d been more of an extrovert most of his life, but he really came out of his shell then. Thomas had made SO many close connections once joining the car club scene that they are more than just friends, they are family, or OHANA. Everyone related to him as STITCH, and here’s the background on that: one of Stephanie’s coworkers and her family had become very close to them. One of their three sons just looked at Thomas and Stephanie and immediately named them “Lilo and Stitch”. The term STITCH took off from there. Thomas’s love for Stitch continued even after leaving the Scion car club scene, or rather the scene dissolved.
Most of those familiar with Thomas knew he was suffering from several medical issues, stemming from the first being a heart attack back in August 2009. Thomas was proceeded in death by his father; his paternal aunts: Beverly McKie and Alice Wanzer; his maternal aunts: Flora Schneider, Virginia Lankford, and Linda Grimes; his niece, Kallie McKie; and his father-in-law, Victor Blitz. He is survived by his wife of almost sixteen beautiful years; his son, Thomas David McKie; his daughter and husband, Christopher Shorts, and grandson, Maverick; his mother; his brother and wife, Amanda McKie; his nieces: Makayla Caudle and husband, Ryan Caudle, and son, Zaydyn; Alyssa McKie and fiancé, Cedrick Gilbert, and daughter, Maizie; and Kirsten McKie; his uncle, Cecil McKie; his mother-in-law, Lourdes Blitz; his sisters-in-law: Veronica Bunce and husband, Andrew Bunce, and Rebecca Blitz; his niece, Emily Bunce; his nephews, William and Nathan Bunce; and several cousins located in Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and California.
Thomas’s final wishes were to be cremated. He didn’t want to have a funeral and/or grave-side burial service because he didn’t want those in attendance to be sad. (Look at him thinking about the feelings and thoughts of others before his own.) Instead, his wife and his pastor, Coleen Scott, with New Hope Church of the Nazarene, 100 E. Kramer Road, Burkburnett, Texas, had offered a better solution, where we could come together and celebrate his life. This get-together is being held on Sunday, November 19, 2023, starting at 12:00 p.m. and located at the New Hope Church in Burkburnett. Lunch will be served.
“OHANA means Family, and Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” –STITCH, from the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch.