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OPINION: Good fishing, family and friends

I didn’t know Dr. Gilbert Macvaugh for a very long time.

Maybe a year or so, but in that time, I became a great fan.

Macvaugh, the founder and executive director of Delta Community Mental Health Services (DCMHS), died last week. He was 71.

While most will remember him for his work to establish services and treatment in Washington and surrounding Delta counties for those with mental illnesses, I will think of him as a pragmatic man who always managed to say the right things at the right times.

Macvaugh served on the Board of Mental Health for 21 years and was chairman for two terms.

Macvaugh and Ann moved to Greenville in 1970 and a year later established DCMHS, which now serves more than 4,000 clients across Washington, Bolivar, Sharkey and Issaquena counties and employs more than 200 people. Macvaugh also had a private practice in Greenville.

During my family’s move to the Jackson area beginning last fall, my opportunities to see Dr. Macvaugh dwindled.

However, when my family and I were back in Greenville for the Junior Auxiliary Ball several weeks ago, I got to sit down and chat with him one more time.

Ann was being celebrated as the Queen of the ball. And she, too, is a wonderful advocate for mental health services, having opened a thrift store (Washington Square) in downtown Greenville, where she employs patients to give them a step up.
His first loves, of course, were his family and his work, but he loved to go to Destin, Fla. to meet his kids and grandkids for relaxing weekends.

And on this night at the J.A. Ball, Doc was thinking about the relaxation of being in Florida.

He asked all about my new position at the Mississippi Business Journal. He wanted to know how I liked the Jackson area, how my family is adjusting and generally wanted an update on me.

But then came the question.

“Ever get around to doing much fishing?”

“Not much,” I said.

“Maybe I could pick you up on a Friday and head down to Destin for a day or two,” Doc said.

“Sure, that sounds great.”

“Let’s wait until it gets a little warmer,” he suggested.

“Sounds good to me.”

Hey, Doc, here’s to good fishing and warmer weather.

You will be missed.

Contact MBJ managing editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com.

About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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