McGhee also oldest local WWII veteran
By SHERRY DIGMON
AND DON FLETCHER
With the passing of Carl “Buster” McGhee on July 2, the community lost the oldest World War II veteran and oldest Poarch Creek tribal member. In fact, some think he may have been the oldest WWII veteran in the state.
Mr. McGhee was 102.
As he was getting ready to celebrate his 100th birthday, he was featured in the February 2017 issue of “atmore” magazine.
It’s not surprising that some of the conversation during the interview centered on fishing. He stated – maybe bragged just a little – that he could still out-fish his children (who, of course, were up in years themselves).
His last few years, he was a resident of the Lavan Martin Assisted Living Facility in Poarch. He moved there when he was about 98, having had complications from gall bladder surgery. Until then he and Carl Jr. had shared the family home since the death in 1994 of Mr. McGhee’s wife, Atre B. Dees McGhee.
At 98, Mr. McGhee was still cutting his own grass and tending his own garden. He might have used the riding lawn mower to get to the garden, but he still looked after it himself.
One of the sons said his father didn’t see just to his own vegetable patch. There were several elderly people who lived around him, and he tilled and planted their gardens, too.
Stephanie A. Bryan, Chairwoman of the Poarch Creek Tribal Council and the Tribe’s Chief Executive Officer, passed along birthday wishes to the tribe’s elder statesman and said this of him:
” I have never heard a negative word from such an upstanding man and pillar of the tribe. His strength and motivation inspire me to always be kind and live a healthy life. If we do this, our days will be longer.”
Chairwoman Bryan released this statement on Mr. McGhee at his passing:
“Mr. Buster will be missed by all. Everyone who knew or met him would understand why he lived to be 102. His kind and kindred spirit would light up any room. He never said a cruel or negative word about anyone. Mr. Buster was the most kind and loving man, if this world had more Mr. Busters it would be a much more pleasurable world to live in. I will miss the smile on his face and the light that beamed from him when he would enter a room at the Assisted Living Facility. Gone but not forgotten, his legacy will forever live on.”
With Mr. McGhee’s passing, Bernice Walden Morgan is the oldest tribal member at 96.
Mr. McGhee’s obituary is on page 3A of this edition of Atmore News.