Jon D. McKee, 86, a founding partner of architect-engineer Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, Cambridge, Mass., and an industry philanthropist, died on June 6 in Peekskill, N.Y., of natural causes.

Begun in 1958, SMMA became one of New England's largest design firms in the 1960s and 70s.


Noting McKee's push for high-quality design at the integrated architect-engineering firm, current CEO Ara Krafian said he "created architecture at SMMA."

McKee was still active with SMMA after retiring more than a decade ago. In a July 2o, 2003 article, Architectural Record described a 3,780-sq-ft Canton, Mass., home on which he collaborated as a "zen oasis."

McKee founded and funded the Lyceum Fellowship, which has provided travel grants to some 75 architecture students since 1985. It also hosts a national design competition. He earned the Boston Society of Architects' Award of Honor in 2010.

SMMA ranks among ENR's 2013 Top 500 design firms and was ranked at No. 40 on its 2011 Top 100 Green Design Firms list.