Historian, retired journalist Liz McMahan dies

Author, former Muskogee Phoenix reporter and historian Liz McMahan has died of complications from pneumonia.

Her daughter, Susan McMahan McKinzie, said her mother died shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa. Funeral services for McMahan, 71, are pending with Mallett Funeral Home in Wagoner, she said.

McMahan, a lifelong Wagoner resident, is the author of "Wagoner" in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America Series." Phoenix Executive Editor Ed Choate said he was introduced to her early on in his days on the job in Muskogee.

“During my first few days on the job here, I kept getting phone calls from ‘Liz.’ She would call and tell me what stories we should be reporting," Choate said. 

After a couple of calls, he asked staffers in the newsroom if anyone knew this ‘Liz?'

"As a group they all responded I probably should follow her advice," he said. 

"Liz was an excellent, dedicated journalist who served the community throughout her career," Choate said. "I’m sure the journalism community will agree: Liz will be profoundly missed personally and professionally.”

Most recently she was penning a regular column, "Wagoner Notebook," to the Phoenix as a freelance contributor, he said.

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