H.B. Mayes (Mayes) McGehee
Funeral services for H.B. Mayes McGehee are 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at Bude United Methodist Church. Franklin Funeral Home in Meadville is in charge of arrangements.
Visitation was Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, from 5 until 8 p.m. and continues on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, from noon until 2 p.m. at Franklin Funeral Home in Meadville.
Mr. McGehee, 89, died Jan. 21, 2014, at his residence. He was born in Bude on June 25, 1924, to Dr. James Claude McGehee Sr. and Mary Cook McGehee.
Mayes was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 and served in the USMC until the end of World War II in 1945. In 1949 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Mississippi National Guard and assigned to Heavy Mortar Co., 155th Infantry Regiment, 31st Division. In 1951, the unit was called to service in the Korean War by President Truman. Mayes remained on active duty until completion of his service in 1952.
After returning from active duty, Mayes resumed his service in Heavy Mortar Company and served an additional 12 years in the National Guard. During this period, Mayes was promoted to the rank of Captain and Company Commander of Heavy Mortar Company, the rank and position he held until his discharge.
Mayes graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in January 1948 and entered the practice of law in Meadville with his uncle, former Congressman Dan R. McGehee, under the firm name of McGehee and McGehee. He continued his practice with his uncle until his uncle’s death in 1962.
James A. Torrey Jr. joined Mayes in his law practice in 1962 and the firm name was changed to McGehee, McGehee and Torrey, Attorneys. Hollis McGehee, a son of Mayes, joined the firm in 1977 and was a member of the firm until his election to the office of Chancery Court judge in 1995. Mayes was a well known and highly respected trial attorney for more than 58 years, trying cases in state and federal courts in across Mississippi.
Mayes also served as chief executive officer of the Bank of Franklin for more than 45 years. He graduated from the School of Banking of the South at LSU (1964-1967). During his leadership, the bank enjoyed phenomenal growth.
Mayes served for more than 30 years as attorney for the board of supervisors and the towns of Bude, Meadville and Roxie. During his service, the towns and the county enjoyed great progress and economic growth as well as major infrastructure improvements. Mayes is especially remembered and honored for great effort and contribution to the economic-industrial growth of the entire county including his efforts to attract Southern Pine Superior Stud Corporation/Georgia Pacific, Movie Star Inc. and Shippers Car Line.
In 1955, the people of Franklin and Pike counties elected Mayes state senator to represent them in the Mississippi Legislature from 1956-1960. During his service as a state senator, he became a highly respected and effective legislator and was honored with many significant committee assignments.
Mayes was a member of the Franklin County Bar, State Bar and American Bar Associations for more than 58 years. He was also a sustaining member of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association for a number of years.
Mayes served in many capacities in the State Bar including bar commissioner. He also served many years on the Judicial Nominating Committee, the Board of State Bar Examiners and was inducted as a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation (1983). He was also honored by his selection to the Lamar Order at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Gov. Ray Mabus appointed Mayes in 1989 to a six-year term on the State Oil and Gas Board. Mayes was elected chairman of the board by the board members and served four years as chairman and two years as vice chairman
Mayes was a lifetime member of the Bude United Methodist Church and had great love and loyalty to this church. He served the church in many roles, including member and chairman of the administrative board, church lay leader, Sunday school teacher, trustee of the church and parsonage properties and
Mayes had great interest in and was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. He served for several years as Scoutmaster of the Bude Boy Scout Troop. He later served as a member of the board of directors and vice president of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He served for many years as fund drive chairman for Franklin County in raising financial support of the Council. Mayes was awarded the Silver Beaver for his dedicated support of Boy Scouts of America.
Mayes had a great love of Franklin County and its people. He devoted most of his life endeavoring to improve the economy of the county and the wellbeing of its citizens.
In 2013 Mayes received the highest honor the Mississippi Bar Association has by giving him the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Preceding him in death were his parents; brothers, James Claude McGehee Jr. and William Calvin McGehee.
Survivors are his wife of 67 years, Dorothy Clark Simmons McGehee; daughters, Rebecca M. Janes and Mary Bryan Roberts; sons, William Hollis McGehee and Bowmar Mayes McGehee Jr.; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bude United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 65, Bude, MS 39630 or The Gideons International P.O. Box 683, Liberty, MS 39654-0683.
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