John "Hugh" McCrary '56 September 16, 2022 2:06 PM updated: September 16, 2022 2:11 PM
Hugh McCrary MD
November 7, 1934 – July 29, 2022
A week ago our hero, John Hughes McCrary MD, asked his hospice nurse to go to her car and get his bus ticket to Heaven. He was ready to go. On Friday, July 29, Gran’s ticket was stamped after he bravely endured metastatic melanoma for several years. At 87 years old, he had lived well past doctors’ expectations on sheer grit and his devotion to our Mimi, his beloved wife of 64 years.
Born in Cisco, Texas, in 1934, John Hughes (Hugh in later years) grew up on the outskirts of town in a neighborhood of boys. The “leader of the pack,” he was a student-athlete who had skipped an early grade because his mother had already taught her children to read and write. She instilled in him a strong work ethic and the desire to be well-educated.
Blessed with a sharp mind and a penchant for hard work, Gran headed to Texas A&M University. He worked three jobs simultaneously to pay for school—at the library, in the dining hall and parking cars at football games—and worked summers in Idaho for the forest service. He was admitted to A&M’s veterinary school, a career choice which led to a chance meeting that set the course for the rest of his life.
On July 25, 1957, Gran met a pretty, young home demonstration agent at the courthouse in Stephenville. The connection was immediate, and he married Barbara Schuman, our Mimi, six months later. Until the day he died, Mimi was the single most important person in his life and the source of his greatest joy.
While he was a young veterinarian, Gran and Mimi lived in Tennessee and then Miami for his two years of service in the US Air Force. But he really wanted to be a doctor, so he and Mimi moved to Dallas and he graduated with honors from UT Southwestern Medical School. Gran practiced family medicine in the small town of Hereford. There he delivered more than 1,000 babies, treated migrant farm workers knowing they couldn’t afford to pay their bills, made countless house calls, took complimentary care of pastors, nuns and priests and set up Hereford’s first free clinic for migrant women.
As much as they loved Hereford, Gran was determined to carve out more time for his young family. They moved to Irving and he completed a residency in radiology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Gran then practiced in San Angelo until his retirement. According to those who worked with him, he was a mentor, a teacher, a trusted leader and friend.
Twenty-five years ago, Gran retired and moved with Mimi to his “Heaven on Earth” in Comanche County. Frog Crossing became our family’s happy place. Gran loved raising cattle, growing native Texas grasses, tending the garden, hunting and fishing, reading and passing on his love of the farm to his children and grandchildren. He knew how to weld, run tractors, fix just about anything, and care for the animals and the land. Most of all he loved “porch time,” those early morning hours spent drinking coffee while rocking on the porch with Mimi and enjoying the hummingbirds and martins which frequented the yard.
For the past two years, Mimi and Gran lived in Richardson to be closer to their family and medical care. He leaves behind a legacy of love: his wife Barbara (Mimi); his son John McCrary and wife Ellen and their three children: Anna, Ben and Katherine; his daughter Patti Otte and husband Trey and their son Will; his brother Leon and sister Anna Ruth and their families; and countless cousins, nieces and nephews. His parents and his beloved granddaughter Kate met him at Heaven’s bus station to welcome him home. We miss him already.
A Celebration of Gran’s life will be held at First United Methodist Church Richardson, 503 N Central Expressway, on Saturday, August 6, at 10:30 am. It will be livestreamed at http://fumcr.com/memorial. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to First United Methodist Church DeLeon, P.O. Box 273, DeLeon, TX 76444.
IN THE CARE OF: Ted Dickey West Funeral Home