LAURINBURG — Virginia Kathryn "Kay" McClanahan, 68, died on June 14, 2014.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium Chapel officiated by the Rev. Linda Nelson.
She is survived by her brothers Bernard McClanahan (Ellen) of Craigsville, Va., Stuart McClanahan of Front Royal, Va., and Ronnie McClanahan (Monica) of Leesburg, Va., her sister-in-law Marie McClanahan of Woburn, Mass., nieces and nephews Kathryn Gallucci, Roy McClanahan, Jason McClanahan, Joseph McClanahan, Teresa McClanahan, Stuart McClanahan, Jr., Matthew McClanahan, Patrick McClanahan, and Jimmy McClanahan, great niece and nephews Angelica McClanahan, Alex McClanahan, and Stephen Moon. She was preceded in death by her brother Roy McClanahan.
Born on July 4, 1945 in Arlington, Va., she was the daughter of the late Levi Bernard McClanahan and Virgie Grimsley McClanahan Hutchison and stepdaughter of the late Joseph Hutchinson.
After earning a bachelor's degree in fine arts (theatre) in 1967 at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Kay worked for 15 years in the field of trade association management in Washington, D.C. While working in D.C., she earned a master's degree in linguistics at The American University in 1982. Soon after earning her master's she left her position as Vice President – Administration of The Proprietary Association (the trade association that represented over-the-counter drug manufacturers) to attend graduate school full-time. She earned a Ph.D. in linguistics at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997.
Her research interests led her from Illinois to Seoul, Korea, to work on the interaction of grammar and pragmatics in negation in the Korean language. Her original intent was to study and teach there for one year, but life in Seoul proved interesting so she stayed for 12 years and taught in the English department of Yonsei University.
While in Seoul she edited the English translation of the official Korean government History of the Korean War, for which she received a commendation from the Minister of National Defense. She was also co-translator of a book of selected poems by Chi Whan Yoo, published by St. Andrews Press. The interaction of grammar and pragmatics in Korean continued to be a research interest, as was the importance of cultural identity as a factor in successful second language learning.
In 1999 after returning from Korea and settling in Laurinburg she joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Also she was department chair of English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages, receiving the UNCP Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005. She coordinated the Speech Program and the English as a Second Language Add-on Licensure Program and most recently served as Chair of the Department of English and Theatre.
Kay was very active in university and local activities. She served on numerous UNCP committees and chaired the Faculty and Institutional Affairs Committee, the Faculty Governance Committee, and the Faculty Senate. She was a member of the Thursday Afternoon Book Club and the Bookmark Book Club as well as the Scotland County Democratic Women.
Memorials are requested for the Scotland County Humane Society, 1401 West Blvd., Laurinburg, NC 28352 or St. Andrews University, 1700 Dogwood Mile, Laurinburg, NC 28352.
McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium is serving the family.