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Margaret McClure

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Margaret McClure Obituary
Margaret Shields McClure

Margaret Shields McClure August 11, 1930 ~ December 11, 2012 The craft of drawing solid objects on a flat surface so as to give the impression of height, width, depth - and position in space - is called "perspective". The elements of perspective include lines, shadows, and implied light in various shades. The perspective artist can trick our eyes with technique. Trick or not, when well done a good quality finish is Art. We have some good news and some bad news: First, we deeply regret to tell you that Margaret Shields McClure has died this week. Margaret died of a stroke at her home. And, be assured, we think it is so unfair that she has died because she was in such great health and she was so happy, and doing good things. A lot of you know the good news - that Margaret Shields McClure was one of those well-loved people who we've been graced with, and who started flitting over the surface of the Earth since August 11, 1930 and she became the happy and good chum to many kids in her home town of Maryville, Tennessee. No doubt you'll know that her dad, Toy Bill Shields, and her mom, Edna Graves Shields, poured fuel on this little flame - and her older sis Lois and older brother W.R. - with love, indulgence, bald-face sophistication, some free-range and locally-sourced cousins and neighbor kids, and a savory sauce of ballet, art, and music lessons, and fireflies, a snuff-dipping Grandma Graves, etc. Margaret boasts of quitting kindergarten, and who can blame her? She lit a taggalong path through the four full rooms at Union School House and later through the boys and band of Everett High. But this is a unique story, so let's stop here and see a quick snapshot of where our Margaret goes: Margaret studies in Maryville College halls and works daily at "Maid Shop" sewing military uniforms. And, we know she marries Billy McClure. And she plans and raises a family. And she makes a career as an art historian, painter, and teacher. But, then she returns to Maryville to care for her family in Tennessee, and somehow - hop - Margaret is smack-dab back in the middle of her pack of chums. What happened? Well, we've heard tell that Margaret Shields fell in love with Billy McClure when they were kids in Tennessee in the 40's and married him in 1951. Margaret and Bill made a home together and worked through the challenges of the study-man blues as Billy accomplished his Masters and Doctorate degrees. Margaret completed her Master's degree. They planned a beautiful, peaceful, and accomplished family, planning weekend music recitals and rational well-thought-through nightly dinner conversations about current events, but - guess what - life made its own plans. From the fifties and into the sixties out popped four beautiful specimens of baby males (needing bonding (with duct tape). How is it that two sophisticated, peaceful, and accomplished parents can give birth to and raise four reckless oily-handed knuckleheads? But, Margaret was generous to her sons; Tom, Riley, Jesse, and Xavier, and she shared her love with them throughout her life. She helped them finish college. She bailed them out of the pokey. She helped them setup first homes and name boats. Margaret practiced those covenants instilled in mothers through childbirth; she bought and sent these ruffians underwear and love at major holidays. Margaret mailed them a yearly green "hundred" sealed in a birthday card embossed with a pink cat and a heart. Margaret's oldest son, Tom, died at 23. Parents can't get over these things. We marry someone special, we move halfway round the world and buy a house, we have kids, get a car and some furniture and a bar-b-q grill - and as young people we don't even blink and eye over it. The wear and tear of life rounds our cutters and we spin slower and cut less. The craft of drawing solid objects on a flat surface so as to give the impression of height, width, depth - and position in space - is called "perspective". Yet, at some point the Master Artist - after having mastered perspective object drawing - begins to question the need to render an object in such detail when the real object exists right before her, within her reach, and the Master Artist only needs to pick it up. In 1988 Margaret returned to her hometown. For a moment she put down her daily artist's tools, she put out her hands and picked something up. Perhaps it's a loser's bet to go back to your hometown and nurse your sick brother, and your sick mother, and your sick sister. And yourself. Most of us wouldn't do it. But she did. Margaret returned home and was a great friend and chum again to many. And she nursed her brother, and mother, and sister. And she was - until this week - a great friend and chum to many. And Margaret is the loved mom of Riley, Jesse, and Xavier. And the loved grandmother of Woodrow and Molly. And loved by her daughter-in-law Vicky. And life blessed her when she reached out and picked it up. Well, that's the sorry and happy end of this obituary. Margaret Shields McClure died happy and healthy on December 11th, in the year 2012 - about 82 years after she was born. Master Artist. Already missed.

Published in the Journal & Courier from Dec. 15 to Dec. 16, 2012
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