When her nephew was shot in a hunting accident in 2016, Courtney McGhee wasted no time in setting up a GoFundMe page to help cover the boy’s medical expenses.
“(My nephew) has been a gift from God,” McGhee wrote. “Help him get the care he needs to fulfill God’s will for his life.”
It was McGhee’s strength and faith that helped the family through this injury, McGhee’s sister Kristin Shirey said in an email.
McGhee’s life was tragically cut short when she was found dead in her home Monday in Bellefonte. The pain of her loss was felt among community members, but none more so than by her friends and family.
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“Courtney was a beautiful woman who lived her life as a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister,” Shirey said. “She was a compassionate person, a devoted mother and a woman who lived her life to the fullest.”
Shirey said her sister would drop everything to do anything for a total stranger, adding that she had an infectious laugh, a positive outlook and a smile that could move mountains. She also described McGhee as a free spirit who “hated to wear shoes” and “wore her dirty feet as a badge of honor.”
McGhee was also known to burn the first batch of cookies, she said, and on more than one occasion kayaked in a swimming pool. She loved trips to Disney World and the beach with her daughter, Shirey added, saying the two bonded over shopping, makeup and trips to the nail salon.
“She touched the lives of everyone she met,” she said, “and she will live on in the lives of those she loved.”
McGhee was employed at the Fulton Bank just off the Benner Pike in Benner Township. President and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Holmes said she had worked there for about three years and was a “colleague and friend to many of the employees.”
“She was always very outgoing,” he said, “always willing to raise her hand when there was a special project.”
Holmes said McGhee was a “culture champion” — an employee who adopted the corporate culture and served as a leader to fellow employees. But she was also always there to serve the customers.
“It’s a significant loss all the way around,” he said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and the employees she led here at the bank.”
McGhee also served as a member of the Bellefonte Intervalley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, chamber Executive Director Gary Hoover said, working to recruit members, design programs and represent the overall chamber membership.
The Bellefonte Area Middle School community is also coming together to help a student affected by the incident.
Principal Sommer Garman said the last day of school was Wednesday, but counseling was provided for students.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of time for major reaction, but we spent time with some of her close friends with our guidance counselors, and with people who needed it,” she said. “(Wednesday) was the last day of school, but our doors are open for anyone who needs it.”
She said the school is also hosting a donation drive that will last through the week and is looking for general items and monetary donations.
“The student lost a lot of personal belongings, so we’d like to help collect,” she said.
For more information, contact the school at 355-5466. Funeral arrangements for McGhee are still pending.