Bill McMahan, Jr, 73, died peacefully in his East Ridge, TN residence on September 6th. A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Bill attended Brainerd High School and the University of Chattanooga. He spent many years painting houses, but as a former detective with the Chattanooga Police Department, he always treasured the time he spent in blue and the friendships he made there. One of his proudest accomplishments was receiving the Lifesaving Award for rescuing a woman who jumped off the Market Street Bridge in 1975. He loved fishing, camping, watching college football, playing cards, and belonging to the American Legion Post 95, Chattanooga Freemasons, and the Alhambra Shrine.
Bill was a smooth talker, and even throat cancer couldn't slow him down. After a successful laryngectomy, he became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, visiting cancer patients before their surgeries, speaking to school groups, and even appearing in a commercial. Bill was one tough cookie, never complaining despite multiple shoulder and back surgeries, as well as a brain aneurysm that forced him into a wheelchair. He found great joy in spending time with friends, and he appreciated each one of you who drank a beer, watched a game, played softball or cards, threw darts, went fishing, attended a church retreat, or shared a meal with him. The Vols won their last game that he watched, and his beloved daughter was the last person he saw, so he couldn't have asked for a better sendoff.
Preceded in death by his parents, Lorna and William McMahan, Bill is survived by his brother, James McMahan, Russellville, AR, daughter, Tara Poole (Christopher Poole), Chattanooga, son, William McMahan, III (Crystal McMahan), Louisville, KY, and grandchildren Macy and Harper
Poole, and Jake, Keller, and Annaliese McMahan.
A graveside memorial service will be held September 13th at 10:00am at Hamilton Memorial Gardens, 5401 TN-153. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Shriners Children’s Hospital.
Arrangements are under the care of the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson. Please share your thoughts and memories at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com