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Mr. McMahan passed away Nov. 7, 2013, at his home in Klamath Falls, Ore. He was 87. He was surrounded by his beloved family and will be remembered sitting in his chair smiling and watching the wildlife out the window of the home he built on the Link River.
George retired from an art career that spanned more than 60 years. He grew up in Klamath Falls and attended Altamont School.
After serving in the A.A.C.S. in San Francisco during World War II, George began an art career at the Art League of San Francisco. It was at this time that he won the very prestigious award of S.W.A. (Society of Western Artists) in a competition at the famed DeYoung Museum. He then went on to earn a B.P.A. degree at the Art Center in Los Angeles; he was a medical illustrator for five years before marrying and returning to Klamath Falls in 1969.
Pioneer Gallery was opened in 1970 by George and his new wife Helen on the corner of Main and Klamath across from the locomotive. As the business grew quickly, it was moved to Seventh and Klamath, where it stayed until it was destroyed by fire in 1988. At this time, the "shop" was moved two doors down to 619 Klamath so George could continue to teach art lessons.
George taught art in Klamath Falls for 45 years and helped many fine young artists to launch their careers; he was a founding member of Western Artists of America, earning awards in Pacific Flyway Show at the NOMAC, Klamath County Western Heritage Award and painted the portrait of Oregon's Governor Robert W. Straub, which hangs in the governor's mansion in Salem. His paintings are displayed all over the country from the Favell Museum to the Abercrombie and Fitch in New York.
He was married in 1959 to Helen Maxine Beaver, who lives on to carry his memory, and is survived by his son Rick McMahan.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
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Published in Herald And News on Nov. 12, 2013