Posted on: February 19, 2018
James Hawver McVey, MD, whose healing hands comforted generations of area residents, died January, 31, 2018, surrounded by family at his home in Cedar Bluff, Virginia. He was 85 years old and had lived the last seven years with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. McVey was born on March 31, 1932, in Alderson, West Virginia. He grew up in a small house fronting the Greenbrier River. His father, Howard Rogers McVey, Sr., was a well-regarded teacher and administrator. But it was his mother, Gretis (Roles) McVey, who most inspired in him the determination to become a doctor.
At Alderson High School, tall and lanky Jimmy McVey played baseball and football, and met the vivacious fellow student, Charlotte Anne Fulks, who would later become his wife and greatest support. Jim and Charlotte married in 1954 after graduating from West Virginia University and before Jim completed his medical schooling at the University of Virginia. They settled for good in Virginia in 1958, when Dr. McVey began his medical practice at the Mattie Williams Hospital in Richlands.
For the next 50 years, “Doc” McVey tended to the well-being of hundreds of patients, giving generously of his time and expertise along with a healthy dose of his distinctive cheeky humor. Many babies who’d been born with his assistance later had their own babies under his care, and no one who came to him for help left without consolation.
During all this time, while also helping to raise five boisterous children, he served as the team physician for the Richlands High School football program, providing countless physicals and a stalwart presence along the sidelines at every game. For his service he received numerous merit awards and in 2008, the school’s new athletic field house was named for him in his honor.
As avid supporters of both WVU and RHS, Doc and Charlotte spent many happy hours cheering on the Mountaineers and Blue Tornado. They were also big supporters of local arts programs. In 1991, the Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce honored them with their Citizenship Award.
He was a 50-plus-year member of the Richlands Presbyterian Church, and also enjoyed gardening, golfing, bowling, and being “Captain” of the boat on South Holston Lake. He retired from his medical practice at the Washington Square Clinic in May of 2010.
Survivors include his wife Charlotte: what there is to be found and lost in life, they found and lost together, with faith and love for more than 64 years. Other survivors are his beloved children and their spouses; one sister; 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Good Samaritan Food Pantry, 106 Veterans Drive, Richlands, Virginia 24641 or the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, 3663 Crab Orchard Road, Tazewell, Virginia 24651.