John Joseph McGahan, the son of Matthew Joseph McGahan and Lena Louise Lindauer, was born on Nov. 10, 1924, in the rural agricultural town of Elsie in western Nebraska. After graduating from Elsie High School in 1942, he left home to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Within five years of entering Creighton, John completed both his undergraduate studies and medical school. At the time of his Creighton Medical School graduation in 1947, John was the first person in his county to become a physician. John completed a one-year internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital at Creighton University. On Aug. 28, 1947, John married the love of his life, Roma Helen Nagengast. John and Roma then moved to St. Louis, Mo., where Dr. McGahan completed his general surgery residency at St. Louis University Medical School.
Before setting up his long-term general surgery practice in Billings, Mont., Dr. McGahan served as the Chief Medical Officer at Crow Agency and Cheyenne Hospital in Crow Agency, Mont., from 1953-1955. Throughout his long and prosperous career in Billings, Dr. McGahan received many professional honors including his positions as the president of the Yellowstone Medical Society (1961), president at St. Vincent Hospital, chief of surgery at St. Vincent Hospital and chief of surgery at Deaconess Hospital.
In addition to being a dedicated physician, Dr. McGahan devoted his life to his family. He celebrated 56 years of marriage to his wife, Roma, before her passing. Dr. McGahan is proud of his three children: John Paul McGahan (Vicki), Margaret Louise Hutchison (Thomas), and James Gerard McGahan (Grace). Dr. McGahan also has nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His grandchildren include John (Kristina), Michele (Brian), Patrick (Noelle), Mollie, Thomas, Kendra, Jamie (Joseph), Tisha (Richard) and Brandon. His great-grandchildren include Gabriela, Brianna, Delaney, Mia, Ava, Lucia, Marcus, Bryce and Isabella. Dr. McGahan will be dearly missed by his family and many lifelong friends.
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Vigil services will be 7 p.m. Friday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Rite of Committal with Military Honors will be at Mountview Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Billings Central Catholic School Foundation.
Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.