When the McKeig family lost it all, an entire union was there.

02.03.17

When the McKeig family lost it all, an entire union was there.

Anne McKeig was born and raised up in Federal Dam by a union man who instilled the importance of hard work and respect – two values that Anne has carried through her life and continues to pass down to her children every day.

The daughter of a heavy equipment operator, she began developing her work ethic as a dishwasher at age 13, and she hasn’t stopped since. Anne went on to college, earned a law degree and worked all the way up to the Hennepin County bench. Now, she’s Minnesota’s most recently appointed Supreme Court Justice.

But beyond the hard work, the respect, the sweat, strength and smarts that it takes to build our roads and buildings, it is the commitment to community that Anne learned from her father and his union. Three days after Christmas 1973, when Anne was in elementary school, a fire destroyed their home, leaving her family of seven with nothing but a tea kettle. It was that moment, not too unlike other moments she heard her dad talk about growing up, that showed her how family extended far beyond the people she lived with – her family was every single union member that showed up with food, clothes, shoes, even Christmas presents to replace their days-old gifts. They could never have recovered without their union community.

That moment left an imprint in Anne’s heart. And 23 years ago, when her father, Monte McKeig, passed away, she was again comforted by her extended union family when dozens showed up to pay their respects.  He was so proud of his local union and the fellowship he forged, personally or simply by association, with his fellow members.

Anne is reminded of her father regularly. Whether it’s going on a run over a road her father helped build, or seeing a monument dedicated to her father and his union brothers and sisters with her kids beside her, Anne feels her dad’s presence in all that she does.

“I carry his work ethic and an appreciation for a hard day’s labor with me in everything that I do,” said McKeig. “I have my father to thank for that.”

Anne is a mother to five children of her own, and has worked to instill those same union values in her kids. To this day, she surrounds herself with other like-minded individuals who value hard work, loyalty and community.

“Union workers are who I’m drawn to,” McKeig shared. “It’s the common thread that runs throughout my life.”

Learn a bit more about Justice McKeig by watching her video: