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Harold Standley McGilvray(1921 - 2014)

Harold Standley McGilvray, H.S. "Mac" McGilvray, died Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Memorial service: 10 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church. Memorials: The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the James L. West Presbyterian Special Care Center Foundation, jameslwest.org. Mr. McGilvray was born in Gainesville on Flag Day, June 14, 1921, to Marley L. and Winnie Lee McGilvray. His older sister, Beulah Margaret McCall predeceased him, and he is survived by an older sister, Myldred Lois Miser, and a younger brother, James Donald McGilvray. Mr. McGilvray married Joyce Chittum (1929-2002) of Wichita Falls in 1947, and they had two children, J. Don McGilvray of Sherwood, Ark., and Jamye L. McGilvray of Fort Worth. Mr. McGilvray had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all of whom reside in Central Arkansas. Mr. McGilvray began his work career at the age of 10, delivering ice blocks for home refrigerators with his father in Gainesville. The ice was delivered by a wagon drawn by a team of mules, and young Master McGilvray loaded and unloaded heavy blocks of ice with tongs and carried the blocks on his back from wagon to back door and kitchen for delivery. He recalled that once, while riding alone in the wagon, the mule team bolted and ran through the streets of Gainesville with Mac its hapless passenger when a passerby intervened by running up to the mules and pulling the harness until the mules were reined in. After graduation from Gainesville High School, Mr. McGilvray joined the United States Marine Corps, serving in the Pacific theater, including at the battle of Iwo Jima. He carried a kerosene stove ashore with him and together with his buddies, erected one of the first American structures on Iwo out of old bomb crates. The ramshackle establishment had a sign reading "Mac's Eat Light Lunch" and there he prepared and served hot rations for battle-weary Marines in exchange for cigarettes and whatever barter was to be had. After being honorably discharged he returned to Fort Worth, taking a job with Western Electric, and later transferring over to Southwestern Bell Telephone Company where he worked his way up from a lineman to chief switchman, ultimately responsible for the entire telephone system at the giant General Dynamics plant located adjacent to Carswell Air Force Base. The telephone system at the plant was so large it had been the third largest switched system in Texas behind the cities of Houston and Dallas. He worked for the telephone company over a period of 43 years before retiring in 1983. Restless in retirement he later returned to General Dynamics as a private contractor to run the plant's switched telephone system. Finally retiring for good, Mr. McGilvray indulged his love of fishing and camping, enjoyed gardening and cooking and became an accomplished numismatist. He developed an extensive coin collection and enjoyed attending the Fort Worth Coin Club and coin shows around the Metroplex. He liked barbecuing in the back yard with family and friends, and his brisket was popular at Trinity's Supper Club. His grandchildren loved his Saturday morning pancakes so much that they carry on the tradition with their own children. Mac had a heart for the older people in the TCU neighborhood where he lived, and he looked after them, assisting them with yard work and seeing to their well-being as long as he was able. He was a quiet man, but he had a wry sense of humor that could surprise and delight.

Published in Star-Telegram on Jan. 24, 2014
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