Thomas Atwood McClees, Sr.
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May 20, 1923 - May 8, 2014
Thomas Atwood McClees, Sr., 90, of Elm City passed away peacefully Thursday at home. A celebration of his life will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Elm City United Methodist Church, 106 N. Parker Street, Elm City. Interment will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Elm City. The Rev. Janine Youngstrom and Rev. Dr. Julian McClees Aldridge will officiate. The family will receive friends 12 – 1:45 p.m. prior to the service at Elm City United Methodist Church.
The Elm City native was born to Dr. Edward C. McClees and Jane Bullock McClees on May 20, 1923. Tom graduated from Duke University in 1948 where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He served in the Army Air Force from 1942 – 1945 as a First Lt. Fighter pilot with 86 combat missions in Italy, Corsica, France and Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, six Air Medals and the Presidential Unit Citation. From 1948 to 1952, he was a construction engineer in Boston, Greensboro and Chapel Hill. On July 1, 1950, he married his college sweetheart, Mildred Taylor, in the Duke University Chapel. In 1952, he returned to Elm City, where he managed the family farms until retirement in 1985.
Tom or "T", as he was known by his family and friends, was a civic minded person who was active throughout the community. He was chairman of the Elm City Board of Education, Member of the Wilson Memorial Hospital Board, Trustee and Treasurer of Elm City United Methodist Church, a member and President of Elm City Rotary Club, and Trustee of Wilson County Technical Institute. Tom was also Commissioner of the Town of Elm City, board member of the Community Chest, the American Red Cross Board, the BB&T local Board and chairman of the Boy Scout Troop 332 committee. He also held membership in the Elks Cub and the Wilson Country Club. Tom was a devoted husband and father described by many as a "southern gentleman".
Tom is survived by his daughter, Kim Taylor McClees of Deer Harbor, WA; his son, Thomas Atwood McClees, Jr. of Wilson and his brother Edward Chadwick McClees, Jr. of Chapel Hill.
He was preceded in death by his wife of sixty-three years, Mildred Taylor McClees and his parents, Dr. Edward Chadwick McClees and Jane Bullock McClees.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Elm City United Methodist Church, PO Box 307, Elm City, NC 27822.
Condolences may be directed to www.joyners.net
Joyners Funeral Home
4100 Raleigh Rd Parkway Wilson, NC 27896
Published in The News & Observer from May 10 to May 11, 2014