Michael ‘Mike’ Nee

Michael “Mike” Nee of Bethany Beach, Del., formerly of Fairfax, Va., died Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, in Burke, Va., surrounded by his family, and gracious to the end.

Nee was the ultimate optimist in every situation and loved to tell a story. He began his career in World War II as an air traffic controller in the Army Air Force, at one time bringing down safely Gen. Robert Jackson, a future Supreme Court justice. After receiving his college degree, he taught at the University of Illinois.

Nee held patents on two industrial applications. Later, he became a heat-transfer, noise- and air-filtration professional engineer working for various companies in industry on such projects as the MX missile and nuclear subs. He retired from TRW Company, but ever the indefatigable worker, went on to work for General Electric and ManTech.

Nee was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach and of the Southern Delaware Nautical Sounds barbershop group.

He published an engineering book, “Heat Exchanger Engineering Techniques: Process, Air Conditioning, and Electronic Systems.” A dedicated history buff, Nee also wrote “Playing with Matches,” a book of history quizzes based on American culture and history. A two-volume autobiography, more a history of 20th century events, rounded out his writing in retirement.
Nee was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Dudley Nee; his brother, John Nee; and sister, Mary Nee. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Virginia; their children: Michael Nee of Burke, Va.; Mary McGinley of Fairfax, Va.; Rita of Ashburn, Va.; and Timothy Nee of Richmond, Va.; seven grandchildren, Joe and Tom Lazzarini, Annabelle and Elise Nee, Caley Nee, Eamonn and Maire McGinley; and his siblings, Dudley Nee and Eileen Nee, both of Chicago, Ill.

A Memorial Mass has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2011, at St. Ann Church in Bethany Beach. Interment is to be at 2 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2011, in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society.