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Dr. John Earl Mahaffey
  • Contributes in memory of Dr. Mahaffey may be made to:
  • The John E. Mahaffey, MD Endowed Chair at MUSC
    18 Bee Street
    Charleston, SC 29425
  • Contributions in memory of Dr. Mahaffey may be made to:
  • Ashley River Baptist Church
    1101 Savannah Highway
    Charleston, SC 29407

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J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
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Memories & Candles

“Dear Mahaffey family, May God who understands your sorrow, bless and comfort you now and throughout the days ahead. Love in Christ, Susie ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: Susie Swink Higgins - Columbia, SC

“Uncle Johnny - We will miss you. I have many fond memories hanging out with the Mahaffey family in Charleston. Tommy ”
2 of 9 | Posted by: Tommy Monts - Saluda, NC

“I worked for Dr. Mahaffey many years ago at MUSC. I remember his kind, calm nature. May God bless his family and friends as they mourn his passing. ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: Joan Swords - Simpsonville, SC

“Deed will be greatly missed! We all love him so much! ”
4 of 9 | Posted by: Kathryn Mahaffey - Mauldin, SC

“What an incredible man who touched so many lives - I'm grateful to have spent time with him growing up at Ashley River. Dr. John, Mrs. Faustina, and...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Morgan McCaskill - Columbia , SC

“Dr. Mahaffey was one of the sweetest men I ever met, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him for some years at MUSC. He will...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Belinda Eldridge - charlestonD, SC

“Dear Mahaffey family, I am so sorry to hear of your lost. Losing a loved one is difficult but there is comfort. God in His Word promises that He...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Brands Hilton - Summerville, SC

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Mahaffey. Though I only knew him for a short time he made a lasting impression on me. He was...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: cindy churches - goose creek, SC

“Remembering with deep love and cherished memories. ”
9 of 9 | Posted by: Betty Mahaffey Wallace - Dillon, SC


Dr. John E. Mahaffey has gone to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on April 5, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Ada Faustina Cummings Mahaffey. Dr. Mahaffey was born on June 3, 1926, in Lancaster, SC. He was one of 8 children, the son of James Wylie Mahaffey and Dora Sally Roberts Mahaffey. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Faustina Mahaffey; daughter Kathie Mahaffey Planton (Phil); sons Dr. James M. Mahaffey (Kathryn), John Steven Mahaffey, and Thomas P. Mahaffey (Edye); 15 grandchildren, Dr. Jonathan (Leesa), Ryan, and Drew Planton, Katherine, Michael (Sara), Anne, Mary Elaine, Rebecca, Sarah Margaret, Richard Wylie, Jameson, John Carlisle Mahaffey, and Harris, Elliot, and Maxwell Mahaffey; great-granddaughter Ada Grace Planton; and sister, Libby M. Phillips (David). He was predeceased by two sisters, Grace M. Monts and Sybil M. Payne, and four brothers, Sydney, Paul, Max, and Ralph.

Dr. Mahaffey graduated from Lancaster High School and began college at the University of South Carolina. He served in the US Navy from 1944-1946. On his discharge from the US Navy he was diagnosed with inactive tuberculosis, and he completed his degree at the University of South Carolina and entered medical school. He was diagnosed with active tuberculosis at the end of his freshman year and was treated for two years in a sanatorium. He re-entered medical school and graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1954. After completing a residency at the Indiana University Medical School, Dr. Mahaffey returned to MUSC in 1958 as an instructor and was named acting chairman of the Department of Anesthesia in 1959. He was appointed professor and Chairman of the Department in 1964. When he retired in 1994, he was the longest serving anesthesia department chairman in the United States and was named Professor Emeritus. As Chairman, Dr. Mahaffey guided the department through a period of tremendous growth in size and reputation. He started the Respiratory Therapy program in 1963 and the School for Nurse Anesthetists in 1965. He also started the Pain Management Program. Thanks in large part to his vision and leadership, the Department of Anesthesia at MUSC grew to be one of the most highly regarded training programs in the country. In fact, many anesthesiologists currently practicing in South Carolina and elsewhere trained under Dr. Mahaffey. He was a true pioneer in the emerging field of anesthesia, advancing his specialty as President of the South Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists, a board member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and a member of 44 medical organizations in the U.S. In 2008, in recognition of his contributions to the field of anesthesiology and to the Medical University of South Carolina, he was honored with The John E. Mahaffey, MD Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology, the highest award a university can bestow upon a faculty member. In addition to his long career as a dedicated physician and teacher, he was a beloved member of Ashley River Baptist Church where he served as deacon, Sunday school teacher, and on many search committees and other committees. His humble service to God was a shining example to all who knew him. Known affectionately as Deeds, he was a loving son, husband, proud father, and generous grandfather and great grandfather. He enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, driving his boat on the Ashley River, and following his dearly loved South Carolina Gamecocks. He will be remembered for his calm demeanor, encouraging attitude, and his conviction to always bring out the best in others.

The family and friends of Dr. and Mrs. John E. Mahaffey are invited to attend the funeral of the former at Ashley River Baptist Church, 1101 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC, Monday, April 8, 2013 at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Live Oak Memorial Gardens on Hwy. 61. Visitation and a Celebration of Life reception will be at Ashley River Baptist Church, from 5-7 PM, Sunday, April 7, 2013 and also the family will receive visitors at Ashley River Baptist Church 1 hour prior to the funeral service.

Contributions in memory of Dr. Mahaffey may be made to The John E. Mahaffey MD Endowed Chair at MUSC, 18 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29425 or to Ashley River Baptist Church, 1101 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC, 29407.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness. Matthew 25:21.