In Loving Memory of

John L. McVey, Sr.

September 20, 1925 -

March 24, 1997

     At 7:46 PM, March 24th, 1997, one of the finest men I have ever known was delivered into eternal grace and everlasting peace. Dad fought a long, courageous battle against cancer. He never gave up and always put his pain and suffering in the background, thinking of others until the very end. He truly was a pillar of his community, a loving father and husband, an inspiration for all who had the good fortune to know him. He touched literally hundreds of lives all across the state of Mississippi and not one ever spoke ill of him. He was an honorable man, generous and trusting, always believing in and nearly always finding the best in everyone he met. He will be missed more than can be expressed in words.

We love you and miss you, Dad.

A Tribute published in the pages of


Tupelo, Mississippi

March 26, 1997

John L. McVey, Sr.

STARKVILLE --- John L. McVey, Sr., 71, died Monday, March 24, 1997, at his home in Starkville. He was born in Clay County to John S. and Annie Myrtle Coggins McVey. He was a graduate of Siloam Consolidated High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 and a Master's degree in 1969, both from Mississippi State University. He was a registered professional engineer. After graduation, he was employed by the Mississippi Department of Education, teaching veterans. He also worked one year for TVA. He was an agricultural engineer with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service for 18 1/2 years, retiring in 1980. After retiring, he established McVey Irrigation Enterprises, retiring from that in 1996. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific. He was junior warden at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection. He was a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, VFW, American Legion, Mississippi State Alumni Association, Irrigation Association, and others.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville with the Rev. David H. Johnson and the Rev. George Woodliff III officiating. Burial will be in Oktibbeha Memorial Garden Park Cemetery in

Starkville. Calvert Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Ann C. McVey of Starkville; three daughters, Patsy McVey Duncan of Houston, Texas, Beth C. Callahan of Starkville, and Debbie C. Fulmer of Biloxi; two sons, John L. McVey, Jr. of Gambrills, Md., and Charlie McVey of Starkville; nine grandchildren; his aunt Jewel Simmons of West Point; and his cousin, Billy Fay Simmons of West Point.
Pallbearers will be David Van Landingham, John Beal, Dr. Steven Brandon, Lee Miller, Bobby Grimes, and Melvin Rhodes.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. L.H. Brandon, Belton Berry, Tom Loftin, Ricky Peterson, Sam Crigler, Clyde Bryson, Robert G. Anderson, Thomas H. Handy, Thomas Coleman, Marvin Robinson, Dr. Robert Collins, Thomas H. Gramblin, William D. Stark, George Mullendore, David Young, C.B. Duke and the Coffee Club at Russell Street Deposit Guaranty Bank.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. today at Calvert Funeral Home and from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville.
Memorials may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, P.O. Box 1566, Starkville, Ms., 39759.

A Tribute to Dad

spoken by

Patsy McVey Duncan

at the funeral


A Legacy of Love and Laughter

It has been said that I must be crazy to stand up and attempt to say anything about Daddy and I may prove those who said it right. Last night as I was pulling my thoughts together, I remembered Daddy helping me with a speech for a speaking contest and he told me some of the hints he used and ones that I still use today. When beginning a speech, look right above everyone's heads or better yet, picture everyone in their underwear. Well, I have to say, that from where I stand, it's obvious that some of you have on your Sunday best and some of the others have on the "raggiest" I've seen in a long time!

This is a day I thought would be the hardest day of my life, however, because of the legacy of love, kindness, gentleness, and Daddy's ability to always find a bright ray of sunshine even in the darkest storm, We have all found peace and laughter to sustain us.

My mind was racing Monday evening as I flew in from Houston. I kept remembering a story Daddy always told me when I was down. He said that he was feeling down, so he went in to talk to Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller said, "John, cheer up, things could be worse." He returned to his office and decided to take his advice, so he cheered up and by golly, THINGS GOT WORSE!!!

Daddy brought smiles to all of us, if not through his stories and jokes, then by his compassion and love for all! He loved to share his tomatoes, turnip greens, field peas or his knowledge of irrigation.

Daddy raised Mac, Charlie and me for twelve years by himself (plus the help of a lot of you in this room!) He vowed to always stick by us right or wrong and he always did. God truly blessed him when 21 years ago he met and married the love of his life, Ann. He also inherited two more children at this time, Beth and Debbie. Ann and I were talking the other night and I couldn't believe that she and Daddy had been married for that long. It dawned on me that she was the same age as I am now when she and Daddy married. I thought at that time, she was so old but now I realize that 40 really is a young age.

At this time in his life, he began anew. We are grateful for this relationship and know that because of it, we were able to have a few more years of fun and laughter. Two years ago at Thanksgiving, Daddy felt that the grandkids "needed" a go-cart. He and Ann carefully searched the State of Mississippi for the perfect, safe machine. We all enjoyed a few days of mud from head to toe, laughter and togetherness. At this same time, Daddy also had a desire for a new guitar. Santa came early and brought him one and we had an evening of listening to him sing "You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog" and "Hey Good Lookin". This was also followed by all of us attempting to sing Christmas carols, making up many of the words and verses as we went along.

What great memories all of us have and for these we are thankful!!

This is where I decided to quit while I still had some composure. The parts that I had written but did not finish are below.

What great memories all of us here today have and there is no doubt that we can all say "Thank You Dear Lord for this celebration of such a fine Christian husband, father, and friend". Thank you to all who have joined in this fight over the past days, months, and years. It has come to light over the past few days that everyone agreed on what a fine loving man Daddy was who always wanted to get along with everyone and be a friend. We laugh many times saying that he would walk 10 miles out of the way to avoid an argument. He enjoyed laughter and wanted everyone to enjoy what they were doing.

Today, we can cheer up and know that things won't get worse as long as we rely on our memories and continue his legacy of love and laughter.

Written with all the love in the world for

My Daddy

This, the day of his funeral
March 27, 1997
by Patsy McVey Duncan

** John Lewis McVey **
September 20, 1925 - March 24, 1997

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Last revised: June 30, 2007 06:49 PM