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1927 Josephine 2018

Josephine McMahan -90

August 15, 1927 — April 8, 2018

Josephine Duke McMahan, a longtime resident of Ashland City, passed peacefully on April 7 at the age of 90. Having taught elementary school in Cheatham County for over 40 years, she is from a large family of educators.  Five of her siblings were career teachers.  Her grandfather, S.A. Link, built and managed the first secondary school in Cheatham County, as well as the residence at 123 Sycamore Street where Josephine grew up and resided her entire life.  It was in this house, built around 1882, that her mother was born and died. Josephine’s paternal grandfather, Civil War veteran John M. Duke, moved from Henrietta to Ashland City in 1881 where he opened a hardware store and funeral business. His son John Tandy Duke, who was to become Josephine’s father, was a business partner to his father. In 1913-14, they constructed a new store for their business.  This is the brick building on Main Street that presently houses the Stone Bridge Bookstore. The J.M. Duke residence, built around 1884, is now the law office of Stinnett and Wilkinson.    Josephine, nicknamed “Sis,” played school daily with the neighborhood children and was encouraged by her mother and older siblings to become a school teacher.  One of her memorable events was when she and her brother Albert rode bicycles across the frozen Cumberland River in 1941. She belonged to Ashland City’s first Girl Scout troop, established in 1944, and later in life was a Girl Scout leader and Crafts Director at Camp Sycamore.  While attending Cheatham County Central High in 1946, she and two other students were tasked with naming and designing the first CCHS Annual Yearbook.  They named it “The Echo,” and Josephine designed the cover – an embossed mountain and valley scene in maroon color. After college at Austin Peay State University and George Peabody College for Teachers, Josephine began her teaching career at Green Briar in the early 1950s.  She went on to teach multiple grades at Ashland City, Bethel and West Cheatham schools before returning to Ashland City Elementary for a long career as a first grade teacher.  She continued to tutor students after her retirement, and in 2009 she published a book, “Teacher’s Tales,” that recounts some of her funny and interesting career experiences.  She was working on a sequel to “Teacher’s Tales,” as well as stories of her remembrances of earlier times in Ashland City.  She was a member of the Ashland City Methodist Church for many years, and walked from her house to church until declining health after her 90th birthday forced her to slow down.  She was previously involved with the Retired Teacher’s Association and the Cheatham County Historical and Genealogical Association.  During the early 1970s, she was a founding member of the Cheatham County Chapter of the Tennessee Archaeological Society. Later in life she began oil painting, and also made quilts for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. As the youngest of eight siblings, Josephine was the final memory bearer of a generation that is now gone. Josephine married Charles McMahan (1916-1996), a WWII veteran, in 1950 and raised three children in the house on Sycamore Street.  She is survived by her children: Joe David McMahan, Linda Sue McMahan, and Wanda Kay McMahan; a granddaughter (Sasha Ellis Pinkerton); step-granddaughter (Jesse Cheney); step-grandson (Christopher Cheney); daughter-in-law (Patricia Browne McMahan), and seven great-grandchildren (Blane Pinkerton, Toby Pinkerton, Logan Pinkerton, Luke Pinkerton, Zach Jacoboski, Shawn Jacoboski, Caleb Cheney, and Blake Cheney). Visitation for Josephine McMahan will be at the Boyd Funeral Home 101 Elizabeth St. Ashland City, TN 37015 on Tuesday April 10th, 2018 from 4 until 8 pm and on Wednesday from 10am until time of service at 12 noon with Dr. Tom Binford officiating. Burial will follow at the Battle Creek Church Cemetery in Coopertown, TN. Arrangements by the Boyd F.H. 615-792-4677. To receive our obituaries to your personal e-mail, go to www.boydfh.com  home page, clic on ‘Mailing List’, enter your e-mail address as instructed.
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