Claybon T. McIlwain
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Mr. Claybon T. McIlwain passed peacefully on May 22, 2012 at the McCall Hospice House in Simpsonville, SC.
Claybon T. McIlwain was always a man ahead of his time. He was born on March 21, 1932 in Kershaw County to the late Claybon T. McIlwain and Beulah Trapp McIlwain. He graduated from West Charlotte High School and attended Johnson Smith University. Mr. McIwain served his country by joining the Army during the Korean War. While employed with the Kendall Company, Mr. McIlwain sat on the Minority Purchasing Council and was invited to participate in the very first Metrolina Minority Trade Fair. Early in his career, Mr. McIlwain became a friend and associate of Mr. John Bolt Culbertson, attorney and early civil rights advocate. For over thirty years, Mr. McIlwain ran his own Landscape and Lawn Care Business. Greenville is certainly more beautiful as a result of his contribution.
Mr. McIlwain was an avid biker and was an early member of the Greenville Spinners long before biking became so popular in Greenville. He was a proponent of an active and healthy lifestyle and was a vegetarian and advocate of organically produced food long before most of us knew what that was. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and was a Unit Commissioner.
Claybon will be remembered as a man of integrity and extraordinary kindness. He was fiercely independent and rarely, if ever, asked for help for himself…even at 80 years of age. He always did exactly what he said he would do. He appreciated life and chuckled with an easy sense of humor. Perhaps, most importantly, he cared for his many friends in ways that will never be forgotten. William Wordsworth said, "The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." We do remember!
Mr. McIlwain is preceded in death by four brothers: Ferry, Max B., Cole Lewis, and Cornell McIlwain and two sisters; Mammie Lee and Lula Mae. He is survived by his sisters; Lillie Mae Dixon, Yvonne, and Mary Bell and brothers Robert McIlwain and Roosevelt and Betty (wife) McIlwain.
Friends and family will convene for a Memorial Service in celebration of his life at Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville, SC on Friday, May 25 at 5:00 PM.
Published in The Greenville News on May 24, 2012