Doris Boyd McGehee
Doris Boyd McGehee, age 92, passed away at her home in Starkville, MS on Sunday, March 18, 2018.
Doris was born in 1925 in Hamilton, Mississippi to parents Hazel Annette Kendrick Boyd and James Marcus Boyd. She was the oldest of nine children.
She graduated from Hamilton High School and moved to Itta Bena, Miss. where she worked as a bookkeeper while attending college.
There she met and married the father of her three children, Lois Annette McGehee Carlisle, Larry Neil McGehee, and Patricia (Patty) Boyd McGehee Newsom. Doris and Neil moved to Greenwood, where they nurtured their three children in a loving, Christian home. Doris resided in Greenwood from 1946 until 1992.
In the 1960s, she began working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recording grades of cotton. With a strong work ethic and determination, she returned to school to learn how to class cotton for the USDA. Doris was a pioneer for women in the field of classing cotton, becoming one of the first two women in the United States to become a Cotton Classer for the USDA. Doris’ love for cotton and textiles, along with her gift and talent for intricate needlework and sewing led to her owning the Fabric Shop in downtown Greenwood. She designed and sewed magnificent custom-made draperies for customers, which included antebellum home-owners, banks, Chamber of Commerce offices, funeral homes, and private residences throughout the South.
In Greenwood, she was an active member of the Extension Service Home Demonstration Club, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Association, and various bridge clubs. She also served as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and Suicide Prevention Awareness Program there. Doris was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Greenwood, where she enjoyed teaching Sunday School, Girls Auxiliary, and Vacation Bible School.
After her retirement, Mrs. McGehee moved to Starkville where she became a member of the First Baptist Church and Naomi Sunday School Class, whose members were near and dear to her heart. She was a member of the Newcomers Club and was an avid bridge player in various Starkville bridge clubs. Doris was a volunteer at the Braille Center at the Lutheran Church, where she helped make hymnals for the blind.
Until the last year of her life, one could find her in the yard nurturing her flower garden, even in the heat of Mississippi summers. She could identify nearly every flower or shrub in a landscape. If she was not outside gardening, then she would be sitting at her sewing machine creating the most beautiful garments or designing and sewing custom window treatments. One creation that she was especially proud of was designing and sewing Patty’s wedding dress which was embellished with over 1,000 hand-stitched seed pearls. Doris' other hobbies included collecting antiques, reading, and cooking, traits which she passed down to her daughters. She also enjoyed cheering on her four grandsons during their years of playing team sports.
Mrs. McGehee is survived by her daughter Patty McGehee Newsom of Starkville, MS, four grandsons-Lee Carlisle of Starkville, MS, Casey Carlisle (& wife, Caelin) of Brandon, MS, Trey Newsom of Nashville, TN, Trevor Newsom of Nashville, TN, great-grandson, Elijiah Carlisle of Starkville, MS, sister Gerry Russum of Thomson, GA, sister Lois Coombes of Haines, OR, brother Robert Boyd of Florence, MS, and a host of nieces and nephews, all whom she dearly loved. Mrs. McGehee was preceded in death by her parents James and Hazel Boyd, daughter Annette McGehee Carlisle, son Larry McGehee, brothers Joe Boyd, Earl Boyd, Charles Boyd, and Mahlon Boyd Kendrick, and sister Miriam Boyd Kendrick Myers.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to Dr. Steven Brandon and the Family Clinic Staff, Oktibbeha County Hospital Medical Center and EMS Staff, Kindred Hospice, and sitter Pauline Brooks, for the excellent care they provided to Mrs. McGehee.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the First Baptist Church Sanctuary on Lampkin Street in Starkville, MS followed by a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. Clifton Curtis officiating. A private family gathering at graveside will occur at a later date in Greenwood, MS.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to First Baptist Church, 106 East Lampkin Street, Starkville, MS 39759.