Natalie F. McGee, who had no longevity whatsoever in her family, died on January 26, 2020 at the surprising age of ninety-four, having surpassed her parents and most of her extended family by nearly 30 years. Natalie was born in Bayonne, NJ on July 23, 1925, the daughter of Frank and Florence (Habert) Culbertson. She had one brother, Robert Culbertson (her beloved “Bobby”), who died of polio at the age of twenty-two and, as a result, she was vigilant about immunizations for her children when they became available. Natalie grew up in Jersey City and attended Snyder High School, where she was an exceptional student, graduating two years early. She was a model of good behavior except for the one time she cut class to see a young man from Hoboken perform at Journal Square and, really, who could blame her? She had dreams of attending college and law school but resources were scarce during the War Years and she had to store her aspirations away for the next generation. Instead, she became a legal secretary at the firm of Cruse, Becker & Longstreet and worked there until her marriage to Thomas V. McGee, Jr. in 1949. She was a devoted mother of five children and a beloved second mother to many of the local children in her Tinton Falls neighborhood where she observed an “open door” policy. After many years as a homemaker whose coconut custard pie and other baked goods were legendary, she began a second career at Fort Monmouth. She worked there from 1972 to 1993, starting as clerk-typist and retiring as a security specialist. Natalie’s husband Tom, for whom she was a tender caregiver during his final illness, died in 1993 after forty-four years of marriage. Natalie spent her retirement years in the company of her many friends, her children, grandchildren and to her great delight, great-grandchildren. She was a kind, thoughtful and supportive friend who was always ready with a cup of tea and a sympathetic ear. She was her grandchildren’s biggest fan and proudly displayed their pictures and their artwork and read all of their publications, no matter how technical. She was, in the view of her children’s spouses, a wonderful mother-in-law, and was a welcome visitor, enthusiastically celebrating the joyful occasions and providing comfort and sustenance during the sorrowful ones. She loved to laugh, never failed to see the humor in challenging situations and had many funny stories to tell about the adventures and foibles of family and friends. One of her favorite stories involved the time she forgot her wallet and had to pay her toll on the Parkway with pennies fished from the bottom of her purse. “Congratulations” the toll-taker said, “You’ve been saving up for this trip and you finally made it!” Her family believes that St. Peter is saying the same thing to her now. Natalie is survived by her children and their spouses, Mary (Thomas Schiavoni) McGee, Robert (Mary Ann) McGee, Thomas (Gorete) McGee, Natalie (Hans) Shipman and Kieran McGee; her grand-children, Anna Johnson, Christina McGee Schiavoni, Melanie Fasino, Thomas McGee, Rob McGee, Mary McGee and Joe McGee and by her great-grandchildren, Dominic Fasino, Eloise McGee. Calen McGee and Jack McGee. She was predeceased by a granddaughter, Catherine Mary McGee. Family and friends may attend a Memorial Mass at St. Anselm’s RC Church, 1028 Wayside Road in Tinton Falls on Tuesday, January 28th at 9:00am. Natalie will be buried with her husband, Thomas, at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown, NJ at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Natalie’s memory through her personal memorial donation page at www.inmemof.org/natalie-florence-mcgee for the St. Francis Breadline in New York.
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