Jim McGaha Sr., 93, of McLoud, died Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, at a Midwest City hospital.
Longtime McLoud resident Jim William McGaha Sr. passed away Jan. 27, 2018, at the age of 93.
Jim was born Feb. 21, 1924, in McLoud as one of eight children of William and Dora (Clark) McGaha.
Jim lost his loving wife, Betty (Williams) McGaha, five years ago. They were married Nov. 9, 1946, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Their 66-year marriage created two sons, Jimmy Jr. and Jesse.
Jim was a petty officer in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46, and re-called to active duty in 1950. Following time in the South Pacific, he was honorably discharged and worked at Tinker AFB from 1950 until his retirement. In his younger years, Jim was a mechanic and farm worker for his father-in-law. This experience provided the opportunity to learn farming techniques and knowledge to start his own cattle farm. Jim passed along his passion for cattle to both sons and many of his grandkids. Jim and Betty enjoyed many decades of gardening and cattle farming at their home in McLoud, which Jim continued on a smaller scale until 2014. He truly loved his fresh garden tomatoes and hot peppers.
Jim enjoyed playing the fiddle, and he and Betty were both lifelong bluegrass enthusiasts. He shared his love of bluegrass with his two sons and several grandkids. Nearly every family gathering eventually lead to an impromptu jam session. Jim wasn’t a fan of traveling, with the clear exception of bluegrass festivals. Betty could usually persuade him to go listen to his family play bluegrass. Jim was also a member of the McLoud Masonic Lodge 126 and was a 32nd degree mason at the Scottish Rite in McAlester.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Frank (Dovie) McGaha, Ray (Maxine) McGaha, Henry Schult, his sister Vivian Schult, his wife Betty, and his eldest son, Jimmy Jr.
He is survived by his sisters, LaVada Huston, Wanda (Woodley) Truitt, Dora (J.T.) White, his son Jesse and wife Barbara, daughter-in-law Kathy Roberson; seven grandchildren: Tracy (Jennifer) McGaha, Steven (Delilah) McGaha, John (Leah) McGaha, Jamie (Clayton) Herron, Cynthia (David) Larson, Sara McGaha, and Hope McGaha-(Marc) Klippenstine; 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Walker Funeral Service in Shawnee to be followed by graveside interment beside Betty at the Dale Cemetery.