Lifelong resident of Jackson County, Oklahoma, Edythe Joy "Boozie" McMahan, passed away on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at the age of 95. Services will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at the Kincannon Memorial Chapel with a reception to follow. There will be a private family burial.
Edythe Joy “Boozie” Howard was born into a 3rd generation Pioneer family in Jackson County. She was the youngest of 6 children. Boozie still owned farmland by the Navajo Mountains that her grandparents homesteaded in 1902. She attended Altus schools, Altus Junior College, and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In 1951 she married her best friend and love of her life, John Boyd McMahan, and they had 2 sons, Robert and Kyle, both of whom she adored.
Boozie was very involved in her son’s lives as well as civic clubs and organizations to include PTA, United Way, KAY club leader, All-Sports Association, Aldonian Club, Mother’s Club, Museum of the Western Prairie, and the First Baptist Church. She was the first woman elected to the Altus City Council where she served 2 terms. She then ran for Mayor of Altus and served in that capacity for 8 years. During those years Boozie worked for the city to ensure economic growth, development of the industrial park, beautification of the city, and youth baseball & basketball programs, to name a few. Christmas in the Park was her baby – she really loved that project because it brought so much happiness to the people. She was also responsible for the Altus Community Center, commonly referred to as “Boozie’s Barn.” She felt that her biggest accomplishment was the reduction of a $42 million payment of Tom Steed Reservoir to $13 million. When she stepped down as Mayor, the city had a surplus of $4.5 million.
As we all know, Boozie truly enjoyed helping people. As mayor she had an open-door policy so that no one had to make an appointment to see her. Many people remember her as The People’s Mayor.
Other than politics, Boozie loved to peruse estate sales and garage sales with her close friend, Kim. She had a great love of antiques, historical documents, and old books & photographs. Her house was full of her beloved treasures. And one could drive by her house at any time of year and know that she loved decorating outside for all the holidays. She was fiercely loyal & patriotic and loved her city and America.
During World War II, Boozie was at every bus that left with young men from Altus. She never missed a bus even if it left in the middle of the night. Another interesting thing is that she would kick the door open every day and say, “Hello, World, I’m coming at you!”
Boozie held a special place in her heart for her grandchildren - Cole, Matt, Megan, and Ali – and great-grandchildren Luke & Madelynn McMahan and Megan & Ali’s children. They all brought her much joy for a large part of her life. Debra Hull, Boozie’s niece, was a great comfort to her in her latter years and they had a strong and loving relationship. Boozie considered Debra as her daughter. And, of course, there was Tommy, her Corgi dog. She and John Boyd loved and spoiled him every day of his life.
A very special thank-you to Kim Rumschlag who was Boozie’s close friend and partner in treasure hunting! Kim decorated Boozie’s room at Tamarack and helped take care of her almost daily until she passed. Kim had been reading the Bible to her these past few months. She remained by Boozie’s side until the very end and was with her as she transitioned from her life on earth into her eternal life with her lord and savior Jesus Christ. Kim was a blessing to Boozie and her family – they are very grateful to her.
The family would also like to thank Maggie and her staff at Tamarack Assisted Living Center. They treated our mom with extreme love and compassion for her entire stay there and went above & beyond our expectations. Boozie loved & appreciated the staff and told us how good they were to her – she never wanted to be anywhere else. Thank you for your kindness to our mom.
Boozie McMahan was truly one-of-a- kind and will be missed by many. Please make donations to Altus Animal Welfare Association, 2204 Enterprise Drive, or the Museum of the Western Prairie.
Online tributes may be made at kincannonfuneralhome.com