Dr. Gird Astor "Mac" McCarty, Jr.
July 29, 1936 – January 18, 2020
On January 18, 2020 Dr. Gird Astor McCarty, Jr., “Mac”, passed away peacefully in his Tennessee home surrounded by his immediate family. He joins in Heaven his first wife, Kay, daughter, Mary Kay, sister, Judy, father, G.A., Sr., mother, Edna, and step-mother, Marion.
Born on July 29, 1936 in Jackson, Mississippi Mac and his twin brother, Jim, earned the reputation of being so mischievous that their mother had to hire a “sack boy” at the Jitney Jungle to supervise them while she shopped for groceries. Mac got a jump start on high school science when he found the formula for nitroglycerine in his textbook. He managed to acquire the ingredients on his dad’s account at the drug company. He and Jim survived the explosion, and both graduated from Central High School in 1954.
In 1958, Mac was awarded a B.S. in Physics from Millsaps College where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. He married Kay, his high school sweetheart, and went to work for IBM before attending the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry, graduating in 1964.
After six years of practicing dentistry, Mac attended M.D. Anderson University of Texas, Houston, TX where he earned a Masters in Maxillofacial Prosthetics (Dental Oncology) in 1972. From 1973-1981 he was on the faculty of the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry in Memphis and served as Department Chair of Prosthodontics. He and his wife Kay were active leaders of a Young Adult Single’s Ministry at Colonial Park United Methodist Church.
In 1982 Mac opened a private practice at Methodist Hospital in Memphis. Many of his patients were cancer survivors; all had severe cranio-facial anomalies. The custom prostheses he made helped to restore the dignity and mainstream lifestyle of people who had been ashamed to appear in public. He also worked with newborn babies with cleft palates. He created obturators enabling them to eat and thrive, bringing joy and hope to their parents.
On rare occasions, Mac treated animals at the Memphis Zoo that veterinarians could not help. He removed a coin from a hyena's jaw and repaired a macaw's beak.
In 1986 he moved his family to Johnson City, Tennessee and worked as a Prosthodontist at the Mountain Home Veteran’s Administration. He retired in 2007 after surviving Stephen-Johnson’s syndrome. When his wife, Kay, passed, Mac married a junior high school friend, Meg, and moved to Hensley Airpark in Chuckey, Tennessee. They enjoyed every moment of their years together; in his final months she cared for him lovingly and selflessly.
Mac could fix anything. He often conceived a project to justify the purchase of a new power tool he fancied for his shop. He built furniture and restored many old cars, a Model A Ford, a 1952 Packard and a 1969 MG-B. He was fascinated by airplanes and built models all his life. In retirement, Mac got his pilot’s license and built a Vans RV-9A.
Mac’s legacy and his passions for vintage automobiles, firearms, aviation, Hank Williams and bluegrass music will live on in those who survive him, his wife, Meg; daughter, Monica; grandson, Mac Benning; granddaughter, Emily Benning; grandson, Everett Bridgers; great-grandson, Archer Cordts; brother, Jim (Patsy); nieces, Lisa McCarty Pugsley(Jason) and Janet McCarty; great nephew, Joel Pugsley.
His celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020 at the Chapel of Lakewood Memorial Park, 6011 Clinton Blvd., Jackson, Mississippi, with visitation from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Memorial Fundraiser for G.A. McCarty. http://mdacc.convio.net/goto/gamccarty
- Mac’s legacy and his passions for vintage automobiles, firearms, aviation, Hank Williams and bluegrass music will live on in those who survive him, his wife, Meg; daughter, Monica; grandson, Mac Benning; granddaughter, Emily Benning; grandson, Everett Bridgers; great-grandson, Archer Cordts; brother, Jim (Patsy); nieces, Lisa McCarty Pugsley(Jason) and Janet McCarty; great nephew, Joel Pugsley.
- Central High School Class of 1954, Honorary
- Visitation Friday, January 24, 2020
- Funeral Service Friday, January 24, 2020
Dr. Gird Astor "Mac" McCarty, Jr.
January 28, 2020
I don’t usually read about people I haven’t met, but something said, “read this”, so I did. I wish I had met this man who seemed mischievous and clever, but with a heart of pure gold. Thank you.
William H. McCarty
January 25, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family of G.A. McCarty Jr.
I personally have not had the pleasure of meeting G.A. Jr., but had met his dad, G.A., and spent a lot of time with his uncle Donald. My father Jack C. McCarty Sr. and G.A. Jr,'s dad were first cousins.
On behalf of the Jerry H. (Bogue) McCarty and the Jack C. McCarty family, I extend condolences and prayers for God's blessing and grace to be with you in this time of loss.
Jimmie Ray Gordon
January 23, 2020
Dear Meg and Jim, Deepest sympathy to you and all of your family. I had forgotten that we three share the same birthday, July 29 1936. What a momentous day that was! Mac made such a wonderful difference in so many lives.
So glad the Central High School Class of 1954 had reunion last year and that all of you were able to attend.
Wishing that I could be with you tomorrow be unable to attend the service as I have a heavy eye appointment that must be kept. You will be in my heart and in my prayers.
Love to all, Jimmie Ray