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October 25, 1925 ~ November 5, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old
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Aranna McBee, affectionately known as Ann, was born on October 25, 1925, to Robert and Pearl White in Greenville, South Carolina. She was an only child and faithfully attended Lowndes Hill Baptist Church in Greenville.
For several years she was raised by her grandparents, Ike, and Garcie Moore, before joining her mother and moving to Harlem, New York. After returning to Greenville, she married her high school sweetheart, Charles E. McBee, on February 19, 1946, upon his discharge from the Army.
After their marriage, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1946. To this union three children were born: Diane, Larry, and Stan.
Shortly after moving to Cleveland, they joined Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church where they were faithful members for over 70 years.
A few years after coming to Cleveland Charles attended the Clark School of Dressmaking where he became an accomplished tailor. Charles landed a job as a presser at a local dry cleaner, became the manager, and eventually the couple purchased the dry cleaners and changed the name to Capitol Dry Cleaning Company, Inc.
They grew the business from one store to four. Over the years they participated in a number of fashion shows in which Charles designed and created a number of outfits which Ann modeled.
In addition to the dry-cleaning business, they also owned Penthouse 27, a nightclub and jazz venue on the 27th floor of a high-rise apartment building in East Cleveland with spectacular views of Lake Erie. Some of the top jazz musicians on tour at the time performed at Penthouse 27.
Active in the community, she was the Secretary of the Beulah Ave. and East 117th St. Club, one of the original members of the Classic 8 Social Club, an avid bowler, and a member of the Karamu MEA Dancers. She and Charles worked with every Cleveland Mayor from Carl B. Stokes to Frank J. Jackson.
In addition to her community and civic endeavors, she enjoyed cooking, baking, having dinner parties and entertaining. She was also an avid gardener.
Her husband Charles and son Larry, both predeceased her. She is survived by her daughter Diane; son Stan; granddaughter Yatika (Robert) Langford and great-grandchildren Noah, Jordan, and Sarai; grandson Joseph Charles McBee, and great-grandson Joseph Charles McBee, Jr.; and granddaughter Sybil Quinn McBee and a host of in-laws, cousins, and extended family in Greenville, Cincinnati, New York, and California.
She will be greatly missed by those she loved and those who loved her. She lived a great life and every one of us was blessed to have her as part of ours!