Aug. 28, 1932-Aug. 10, 2022
Retired Judge Marvin F. “Mickey” Gahagan passed away peacefully at his home Aug. 10, 2022. He was 89 and a lifetime resident of Natchitoches.
Whether you knew him as Mickey, Judge Marvin or as Pere by family members, Mickey touched the lives of many in both his personal and professional life. He was the epitome of a Southern Gentleman and was a gentle man, quiet in nature, courteous, fair in the courtroom and always there for family. He was admired by his peers and loved by friends and family. He always cherished the times when he raised a glass to toast with three generations of family, especially in his den by the warmth of the fire.
Mickey Gahagan was born Aug. 28, 1932, in Natchitoches, the son of Russell E. Gahagan Sr. and Marvin Elizabeth Freeman Gahagan.
He was a graduate of Natchitoches High School, class of 1949. He enrolled at LSU, Baton Rouge, and went directly from undergraduate to Paul M. Hebert Law School, graduating Jan. 29, 1955, at age 22. It was at LSU that he met the love of his life, Patricia June Meaux whom he married the day after graduation, Jan. 30, 1955.
Mickey practiced law with his father, Russell E. Gahagan, for seven months in 1955 until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He went through basic training at Fort Chaffee, Ark., then was assigned to Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, MD. Upon graduation from CIC, he was assigned as a Military Intelligence Specialist to the Custom House in Denver, Colo., until his discharge in September 1957. While stationed in Denver, Mickey became a personal friend of Clint Hill who later became a Secret Service Agent and protected the Kennedy family. In 1985, he was very proud to have been selected by the American Bar Association to present a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.
Mickey returned to Natchitoches after two years serving in the military and resumed law practice with his father in September 1957. In 1960, at age 27, he was elected City Court Judge, making him the youngest judge in the state. He continued practicing law while serving as City Court Judge for 24 years. He was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court beginning in 1978 to preside as ad hoc judge in 14 parishes from Farmerville to New Orleans including two consecutive years in Caddo District Court and 14 years in New Orleans’ Civil District Court. Judge Gahagan was respected for being professional, fair, and in control of the courtroom. He was a very deliberate speaker. A man of few words, but those words counted, and he was known to always start court “on time”. After practicing law for 63 years and holding Court for 57, he decided to retire in 2018. Although his grandson, Peter, does not practice law in Natchitoches he was very proud that he became the third generation of Gahagan lawyers.
Mickey held positions on the Board of Directors for First Federal Savings & Loan Association and Natchitoches Parish Hospital. He was also a former member of the Chancellor’s Council, Tulane Medical Center and a former President of the City Court Judges Association.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, June; daughter, Cindy Gahagan Gray (Michael) of Marietta, Ga.; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Currier Gahagan Goodman (Michael) of Mandeville; grandson, Peter Martin Gahagan (Erica) of Covington; great-grandchildren, Liam Michael Gahagan and Emelia Margaret Gahagan; sister, Mattie Sue Butler; younger brother, Russell E. “Buddy” Gahagan Jr. (Joan); sister-in-law, Mary Ann Rutkowski (Dave) of St. Louis, Mo.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is predeceased by his son, Michael Mark Gahagan; grandson, Richard Freeman Gahagan; and sister, Patricia Rush.
A private memorial service will be conducted by a personal friend, the Very Rev. Craig Scott. Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10-11:30 a.m. Burial will be at a later date at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to all Hospice of Natchitoches employees for their care, and appreciation especially to his devoted caregivers who helped make his life so much more comfortable during the past few months: Pam, Debra, Katrina and Delores.
In lieu of flowers, please consider celebrating Mickey’s life with a donation in his memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the charity of your choice.