Recently, two prominent local individuals who were highly involved in education and service to their community passed away — Gordon McCarty and Jim Oughterson.
McCarty passed away on Dec. 14 at 89-years-old. According to his obituary, he was a United States veteran in the United States Navy from 1951-1954. After graduating from Morehead State University, he went on to earn his Masters Degree in 1962.
McCarty taught at Jeffersonville High School in 1958 and was a principal in 1970 at Jeffersonville Elementary until he retired in 1992. He also taught drivers’ education.
Teaching wasn’t the only thing McCarty was known for in the community as he coached football, basketball and baseball, and he was a high school and college official for 45 years for football and basketball. He served as a Jefferson Township firefighter since 1959, as a Miami Trace school board member for 20 years, as a Jeffersonville village council member, as a Jefferson Township trustee, as a Jeffersonville mayor, as a Washington Shrine Club member, and as a member of the Jeffersonville United Methodist Church.
McCarty celebrated he and his wife’s, Janet Blanton McCarty’s, 65th anniversary on Dec. 2.
Bruce Kirkpatrick, the Miami Trace Board of Education president, said, “Gordon always looked out for kids. His motto was always: We are here to do what is right for kids. That has always stuck with me.”
Miami Trace Superintendent Kim Pittser explained, “Gordon McCarty left a legacy for not only Miami Trace but also our entire community. He dedicated himself to serving others and making life better for those around him. We remain grateful for his impact on both Miami Trace and Fayette County. Our thoughts and prayers are sent to all the family, especially during these difficult times over the holidays.”
A tribute was made for McCarty with the Fireman’s Prayer on the Tri County Fire Facebook page, “Tri County Fire.”
Memorial contributions may be made to the Mr. McCarty Scholarship Fund, payable to Miami Trace Local School District or Jeffersonville United Methodist Church.
Oughterson passed away at 79-years-old on Wednesday, Dec. 9. According to his obituary, he was a 1965 graduate of Cortland (NY) High School, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in in history and economics from Wilmington College in 1969, and a Master’s Degree in education and social studies from the State University of Cortland before moving to Washington Court House in August of 1969.
“There are so many things I could say,” Oughterson’s wife, Kay, said recently. “I know one thing, Jim was the kindest, most non-judgmental man that I have ever known. It is so hard for me to say anything other than that. He impacted so many lives because of his influence in education, the Masonic Lodge and even the Kiwanis Club. His life was absolutely focused on service to others and never thought about himself. He always thought of others and the amount of lives he touched is innumerable. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many.”
Oughterson began teaching as a history teacher at Jeffersonville Elementary School before serving as principal of the Bloomingburg Elementary School for seven years. Soon after he became the assistant superintendent for Miami Trace Local Schools — a position he held for the next seven years — before he was named and served as the superintendent of Caldwell Exempted Schools until his retirement in 2002.
“Jim was a member and past master of Bloomingburg Lodge F. & A.M. #449 and was the recipient of the Bloomingburg Lodge Builders Award,” his obituary said. “In 2015, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 8th Ohio Masonic District and was a past president of the 8th Masonic District Officers Association. He was 32nd Degree Mason, Valley of Columbus and was honored with their prestigious Meritorious Service Award. He served as president of the 32nd Degree Masons of Fayette County for many years.”
Oughterson’s service did not stop there though as he was also a member of Aladdin Temple Shrine in Columbus, Washington Shrine Club and Irish Council #67 of Knight Masons of the USA. He had been a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, was a past president and longtime secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Washington Court House and was the recipient of both the George F. Hixon and Walter Zeller Fellowships, and served over 30 years as chairman of the Kiwanis fair gate ticket sales project, among many other organizations.
“Jim and I worked a lot together in the Kiwanis Club,” Roger Kirkpatrick, funeral director of Kirkpatrick Funeral Home, said recently remembering his time with Oughterson. “We tried to keep it together for as long as we could and ever since it dissolved we have been trying to figure out ways to spend the money that was left. He was just really, all-around a good guy. We was a longtime friend and we worked a lot of community affairs together.”
Memorial contributions may be made for Oughterson to Bloomingburg Lodge #449, c/o David Krupla, 18 East High Street, Jeffersonville, Ohio 43128 or Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County, 222 North Oakland Avenue, Washington Court House, Ohio 43160.