Robert Edwin McGehee

Published 12:40 am Sunday, March 9, 2014


Robert McGehee

Robert Edwin McGehee

McCOMB — Robert Edwin “Bob” McGehee, 80, of Summit, passed away on March 7, 2014, at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Jones Family Funeral Services in McComb, Monday, March 10. 2014 from 9 a.m. until the service at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of McComb. Burial follow at McGehee Cemetery in Summit.

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Bob was born on Aug. 19, 1933, in Vicksburg, the son of Clyde and Myrtle McGehee.  He graduated from Carr Central High School in Vicksburg, and later served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Munich, Germany.

He returned home and graduated from Mississippi State University with his bachelor of science degree in forestry.  He married Joreen Roselle of Vicksburg on July 4, 1954, and they were married 43 years until her death in 1997.

After graduation in 1960, they moved to Broken Bow, Okla., where he went to work for Dierks Timber Company as a forester.  In 1961, he was transferred to Dierks Paper Mill in Pine Bluff, Ark., where he eventually became the mill manager.  He oversaw the transition of Dierks through the Weyerhaeuser Co., and late in his career, Gaylord Paper.  He retired first from Weyerhaeuser after 25 years and then fully four years later from Gaylord Paper at the age of 56.

Following retirement, he and Joreen moved to the old McGehee plantation in Summit, where they restored the original 1867 home and had it listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.  Until her death, they traveled most of North America by Airstream and ended each trip on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, where they spent summers for 11 years fishing for salmon and halibut.   In his retirement, he returned to his love of forestry managing the farm for pine trees.

He was an active member of the Mississippi Forestry Association. Up until his death, he was in the woods every day working the farm and cutting hurricane damaged and beetle trees. Bob had a very strong Christian faith, and while in Pine Bluff, was a member and deacon at First Baptist Church, where he also taught Sunday school for junior high boys.

He joined First Baptist Church of McComb in 1988 and was a deacon there and active member of the sanctuary choir and Young at Heart Singers.  On Sept. 26, 2000, Bob married Dianne Whitehead Fleming of Summit. They have been able to spend 13½ wonderful years together, during which their two families quickly became great friends and have celebrated many family gatherings, travels, and holidays together.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Clyde McGehee; and sister Marilyn Steinriede and her husband Bill.

Survivors include his wife, Dianne Whitehead McGehee; his sons, Robert E. (Bobby) McGehee Jr., (Kay) of  Little Rock, Ark.; Michael L. McGehee of Searcy, Ark.; daughter Michele Stelter of Richmond, Va.;  stepsons, Darrell Fleming of Fernwood, and Jerrid Fleming (Holland) of McComb; two stepdaughters, Johshonda Robertson of Summit, and Jessica Paulk (Kristopher) of Summit; a sister-in-law, Elsie McGehee Buchanan of Vicksburg; brother-in-law, David L. Roselle of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; brother-in-law Billy Whitehead (Dorothy); Janet Lea (Lewis); Debbie Bowlin (Stevie); Loria Ratcliff (Jim) all of Summit; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Pallbearers are Robert E. (Mack) McGehee, III, Jonathan Reynolds, Jay Stelter, Garrett Ratcliff, Blake Fenn, Hoss Lea, and Derrick Whitehead.  Honorary Pallbearers are the Deacons of First Baptist Church of McComb.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Young at Heart Singers Program at First Baptist Church of McComb, 1700 Delaware Avenue, McComb, MS  39648; or alternatively, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Foundation Fund, 4301 W. Markham St., Slot 716, Little Rock, AR  72205, for the Robert E. McGehee, Jr., Ph.D. Distinguished Lectureship.