MUSKEGON (AP) — A western Michigan historian credited with greatly enhancing a museum in Muskegon has died while visiting a Civil War battlefield in Mississippi.

John McGarry III suffered a heart attack Thursday while with a friend in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His wife, Susan McGarry, told The Muskegon Chronicle that the trip was one of the benefits of retirement. He was 63.

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McGarry retired last summer after 25 years as executive director of the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon. Voters repeatedly renewed a property tax to support operations.

The Chronicle says McGarry’s largest project was Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall Township, an outdoor attraction with replica mastodon bones, wigwams and farmhouses representing 10,000 years of Michigan history.

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The West Virginia native was a member of the Company of Military Historians.


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