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Obituary for Samuel Oscar McGahey
Samuel O. McGahey (Sam), 81, of Clinton Mississippi, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his family On March 4, 2021. He was born in Webster County Mississippi on August 27, 1939, son of Samuel Arlin and Hattie Hood McGahey. He is survived by his wife, Elisabet McGahey and his four sons, Thomas, Michael, Richard and Andrew. He is also survived by his sister Patricia Floyd and nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He and his younger sister, Patricia, grew up on a farm west of Calhoun City. Sam attended Calhoun City Schools and graduated from Calhoun City High School in 1957. After graduation he left Calhoun County to join the United States Army where he was part of the U.S. Fourth Army Division. While serving in the Army in the European Theater he met his future wife, Elisabet Svall, near Stockholm Sweden. After meeting the love of his life, Sam would marry Elisabet and begin a family. Thomas was born in Sweden. After being discharged from the Army, Sam, Elisabet and Thomas moved to Mississippi where Sam attended the University of Mississippi and obtained a Masters in Anthropology. He would go on to work at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as an archaeologist and to be the Chief Archaeologist at the Historic Preservation Division for many years. Highly-respected and considered an expert in his field, he was a published and well-known author, having penned many academic textbooks and professional publications. Sam McGahey was also an artist and craftsman. He turned pieces of wood into works of art. He carved wood, bone, slate, and even deer antlers. “Pops” would explain to his children, “Its easy, just know what you want it to look like and take everything else away.” He was one of the pioneers of the modern American art of flint knapping and making of arrowheads and tools. Sam made arrowheads from rock, glass, and even obsidian. Over the years, Sam made tens of thousands of arrowheads and carvings. Sam was a man of physical fitness. Many in his community remember him running up the highway with his denim shirt and blue jeans (his work out attire), and later in life walking any number of his dogs. He commonly walked around his house and office on his hands. Sam, into his sixties would knock out over twenty pull ups. Sam asked one of his sons, three days before he went to be with the Lord to bring him two chairs so he could do push ups. He was dedicated. He was a man’s man. He was more than an archaeologist. He was more than an artist. “Pops” was an example and a hero to four boys, an incredibly devoted husband and a role model for his children and grandchildren. He died a born again Christian and will be missed by so many. Sam McGahey was the Man, the Myth, the Legend. We will miss him so but through faith in Christ, we will see him in time. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 12:00 Noon until the hour of the service at 1:00 p.m. at Pineview Baptist Church, 1288 Clinton-Raymond Rd, Clinton, MS 39056. Sam and Elisabet shared a love for animals. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made or needs provided for to an organization close to their hearts: CARA Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, Inc., 960 N. Flag Chapel Road, Jackson, MS 39209. You may also mail CARA donations to P.O. Box 231, Clinton, MS 39060.