Micheal Eugene "Mike" McGhee, 58 of Benton, went to meet his heavenly Father on February 24, 2019. He was born on October 31, 1960 to Otha Mack and Vyda Pearl Welch McGhee. Mike was preceded in death by his father, sister, Linda Jean McGhee, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles and Pauline McGee. Mike leaves to cherish his memory, mother, Vyda Pearl McGhee, wife, Debbie McGhee, daughter and son-in- law, Beth and Ronnie Goodwin, son and girlfriend, Ryan McGhee and Lauren Briggins; sisters and brothers-in-law, Joyce and Bill Farnam, Kay and Richard Moore, Dee and Todd Thomas, Carla and Mike Charles; Trish and Curt McGhee, brother-in-law, Jim McGee. Along with his many family and friends, he leaves to cherish his memory, a host of former players and friends. Mike also leaves behind his special friend and "adopted son" Steven Bostick. From an early age, Mike developed a love for sports. In school he participated in Track, Basketball, Baseball and Football. He earned a scholarship to play Football at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Mike left UAM without finishing his degree. He was introduced to the sport that would change his life by his friend and mentor, Ronnie Hawkins. Mike spent many weekends making friends and playing softball. He played for teams such as Pro Forms and Thomas Oil. In 1983, while playing in a co-ed tournament, he met his wife of 34 years. He continued to play travel ball until Mark Duke asked him to help coach a girl's Fastpitch team. Mike realized he needed help to be the best coach he could be, so he started going to coaching clinics put on by college coaches. There he met Alvy Early, the UAM coach who became a mentor, friend and recruiting buddy. Mike often said his years coaching his daughter's team, the Blazers, with Mark Duke, were the most enjoyable of his coaching career. In 2003 he was given an opportunity to finish his college degree and be an assistant coach at Ouachita Baptist University. Mike finished his degree and was named the head coach, a position he held until his death. When asked how many kids he had, the answer would be 22, 25 or how many girls he had on his roster. Mike always thought of his players as his own and treated them as such. He always insisted his players attend class. The rule was if you missed a class, you had better call coach by 5 p.m. or you wouldn't be playing for him. He realized that an education was more important than softball. Mike was a loving and caring, father, husband and an honest, good hearted man. He lived his life to the fullest. If you didn't want the truth, then you'd better not ask him. A visitation will be held at Ashby Funeral Home on February 28, 2019, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Memorial services will be held at a later date when softball season is over. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mike McGhee Scholarship fund c/o Regions Bank. On line guestbook at www.ashbyfuneralhome.com.
Published February 26, 2019