Cover photo for Mildred Blewett McGehee's Obituary
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1950 Mildred 2024

Mildred Blewett McGehee

May 2, 1950 — February 14, 2024

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mildred (Milly) Blewett McGehee, 73, of Santa Fe New Mexico, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2024, surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her spouse, Robyn Elizabeth Holley, her brother William Carl McGehee Jr. (Rebecca) of Natchez Mississippi, her niece Anna Catesby McGehee of Nashville Tennessee, and her nephew William Carl McGehee III (Cammy) of Batton Rouge, Louisiana. Milly was preceded in death by her parents, William Carl McGehee and Sarah (Blewett) McGehee and her beloved springer spaniel, Coco.

Milly was born in Natchez, Mississippi where she inherited her love of antiques from her parents who were collectors and who had restored two early houses in Natchez. Her interest in early American decorative arts was further cultivated with her course work at Hollins College in Virginia.  While a student at Hollins, she worked during the summer of her senior year as an intern at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  After graduating from Hollins in 1973, Milly returned to MESDA as its first field representative, gathering data for its now well-known research archives. It was her pioneering work in Wilmington, NC, that helped shape the museum’s celebrated field research program, documenting early southern furniture, ceramics, paintings, and other objects in private collections. She was named a fellow in the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Decorative Arts and Cultural History where she received her MA in 1976; her thesis covered the career of architect Levi Weeks in Natchez.  After completing her graduate degree, Milly worked as a curator at the Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee, home of Andrew Jackson, and worked as a special assistant with curatorial responsibilities for the Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 

Ultimately, Milly’s love of research and discovery lead her to travel throughout the country as an antiques dealer and open her shop, Milly McGehee Americana, in Dallas, Texas and later a gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. She was able to provide many important objects to well-known private and museum collections in the United States; she also appeared several times as an appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Road Show.

Milly loved the architecture, light, turquoise sky, and vistas of Santa Fe. She enriched the lives of her friends and family, and will be remembered for her generosity, sense of fun, laughter, and quick wit.   

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your local animal shelter or to the Historic Natchez Foundation.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mildred Blewett McGehee, please visit our flower store.


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