American Veteran 04

Russell Eugene "Gene" McMahan

November 12, 2021


Russell E. “Gene” McMahan, 85, of Chattanooga died on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family after a short illness.

Born in Rising Fawn, GA. on November 26, 1935 to the late Donnie and Lucille McMahan, he was the oldest of four.   He grew up working the family farm and never shied away from hard work.

After graduation from high school, he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Canberra (CAG-2).  After active service he remained in the Naval reserves for 14 years.

He was employed with Combustion Engineering (later ABB) from which he retired after 44 years.  Never one to sit still, he then went to work for the Catoosa County School System and H&R Block, where he worked until he was 83.

Gene and his wife Betty enjoyed motorcycling riding, traveling, square-dancing, and attending many reunions for the crew of the USS Canberra.

Along the way Gene became known for his stories as well as his teasing sense of humor.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Allen McMahan, whom he lost to childhood cancer in 1968;  sisters, Ginny and Joyce; in-laws, Maynard and Rosa Lee Wright; brother and sister-in-law, Newell and Betty Joyce Wright, sister-in-law, Clara Wright Mitchem; and son-in-law, Don McGill.

Gene is survived by his wife of 41 years, Betty J. Wright McMahan; three daughters (whom he was very proud of and were often part of his stories), Kim McGill, Ringgold, Martha (Harold) Spletzer, Soddy-Daisy, and Angela (Darren) Gibson, Ringgold; 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, sister, Sue (Willard) Ryan, Trenton, GA; many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Gene’s son, Allen, to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN

A private family graveside service will be held.

You may send condolences to the family at

Arrangements are by heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.



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