Gladys Evelyn McKee, known by her family and friends as "Evie," was born Gladys Evelyn Woods on May 16, 1893 in the city of Quezaltenango, Guatemala.  Her father, employed as an electrical power plant operator until the plant was destroyed by a devastating earthquake, became the manager of a coffee plantation in the mountainous country high above the city.  So began a hectic sequence of events, a revolution, volcanic eruptions, and more earthquakes, which forced the family evacuation from the plantation high in the mountains.  Evie, her mother, sister and two brothers, escorted by pack mules, embarked on a two day trip to the sea coast. Once there, they and their salvaged belongings were loaded onto several small boats.  The boats were rowed out to sea to meet a larger ship that took them to San Francisco, California.

One year after their arrival in San Francisco, Mother Woods, and her children were among the many families devastated by the historical San Francisco earthquake and fire.  The Woods family, like so many others, lost all of their worldly possessions.  They relocated to Chihuahua, Mexico where they lived for a short time before moving to E1 Paso, Texas. Evie and Eugene met at Mother Woods’ boarding house in E1 Paso and were married on September 20, 1911.  Eight children, six sons and two daughters, were born of this marriage.

Evelyn’s main objective and purpose in life was the rearing of her children and concern for a strong family relationship.  She was honored as E1 Paso’s "Mother of the Year" in 1942 and publicized as the perfect example of motherhood in 1957.  She was a member of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church and served on the Board of Trustees for the YWCA.

Robert E. McKee Page

Back To Welcome Page