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Marvin Michael “Mike” Mathis, age 77, passed away Monday, October 25, 2021, in Pearl, MS. Visitation is Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Tutor Funeral Home in Magee, MS. The funeral service will be Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at Tutor Chapel. Wesley Hughes will officiate. Interment will follow in the Mathis family burial plot at Magee Cemetery.
Mr. Mathis was born in Monte Vista, Mississippi, on November 7, 1943, to the late Jeanette Scarborough Mathis and Marvin Lacy Mathis. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Meda Rachelle “Shelly” Mathis.
He graduated from Magee High School in 1960. He was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed many outdoor activities. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science that included a double major in business management and radio and television. While at USM, he was member of Phi Tau social fraternity.
A die-hard Alabama football fan, Mr. Mathis attended graduate school at the University of Alabama before returning to Magee in 1966. While attending the University of Alabama, Mike served as manager of the campus radio station. He loved being on campus during the time that Coach Bear Bryant was Head Coach and loved the opportunity to interview Coach Bear Bryant throughout his time as campus station manager.
From the age of 15 and from its very beginning in 1957, Mr. Mathis was a regular member of the staff of WSJC AM-FM, a family owned and operated 50,000 watts clear channel am station located 810am. Their 100,000 watts stereo power FM radio station in Magee, MS, located at 107.5 FM on the dial in Magee, MS on the banks of the Okatoma. The award-winning station was known to many from their slogan of “Top Gun in Dixie, W-S-J-C” plus many other memorable local advertisements and original programming. While at WSJC, he worked in all aspects of radio operations from disc jockey to engineer to copywriting to advertising sales and general manager. In 1968, Mr. Mathis’ father was tragically killed in a car-train accident and he and his mother, Jeannette, took over management and operations of the station. In 1988, the station was sold, and he retired from broadcasting.
Throughout his career, Mr. Mathis served in many leadership positions as a broadcast executive and civic leader. He served as president and board member of the Magee Chamber of Commerce and was active in the Magee Lions Club, founded the Magee Chapter Explorer Scouts, served as Simpson County Civil Defense Director and the Magee Touchdown Club. He was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Magee Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Magee.
Mr. Mathis was awarded a first-class general radio telephone operator license from the Federal Communications Commission and was a long-time member of the Mississippi Broadcasters Association and Ham radio operator.
Following retirement from WSJC, Mr. Mathis became an expert in buying and selling medical equipment and supplies at auctions and via eBay. Through this new hobby, he made many new friends from all over the world.
He was a gifted salesperson and storyteller, talents he inherited from his father. He was proficient in electrical engineering and always wanted to learn and try out new technology. He loved hunting, Corvettes, motorcycles, live music, and had a list of favorite foods. You would never catch him turning down a fried green tomato, raw oyster, slice of coconut pound cake, a piece of fudge, frozen margarita, hard shell taco, homemade vanilla ice cream or a bacon tomato sandwich. Come Saturdays every Fall, he was glued to SEC football games, especially his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide. Above all, he was a loving son, father and loyal, generous friend, known as an encourager and someone who would lend a helping hand whenever possible. Over the past several years, many business people and friends have reminded Mike of things that he did to help support or encourage success in their lives and businesses, whether it be to offer life changing advice on careers, run extra promotions to ensure the success of advertising campaigns, just drop by with a burger and word of encouragement for young entrepreneurs. For the most part, Mike kept these encouragements private.
Survivors include his best friend and love of his life, Janna Hughes, daughter, Kim Mathis Thames (Tim), son, Michael Mathis (Keleigh), grandchildren, Brandon Thames (Natalie) and daughters, Laurel and Carson, Lacey Thames, Julie Mathis, and son-in-love Wesley Hughes (Jennifer) and their daughters, Brooke, Cate and Elin, and his beloved WSJC family.
Arrangements are entrusted to Tutor Funeral Home of Magee.
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