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James F. McClellan Jr.

Dr. James Fennimore McClellan Jr., of South Chesterfield County, departed this life on Jan. 16, 2014, at his residence surrounded by his loving wife and daughters. A native of Nashville, Tenn., Dr. McClellan was preceded in death by his parents, James F. and Robbie Bell McClellan; his sisters, Portia Ballard and Robbie Chissell; and a brother, Robert Berthel.

Born on Sept. 24, 1925, Dr. McClellan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history and social studies from Tennessee State University in 1944, a Bachelor in divinity from Howard University in 1947, a Master of Arts degree in student personnel administration from teachers college, Columbia University in 1949, and an Doctor of Education in student personnel administration from teachers college, Columbia University in 1956.

Dr. McClellan was a professional educator. Throughout his career, he has served as director of Cook Hall at Howard University; professor of education and director of student personnel services at Arkansas AM & N College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff): professor of education and dean of students at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Ky.; and professor of guidance and director of testing at Virginia State University in Petersburg. He retired from Virginia State University in 1997 as distinguished professor emeritus.

After retirement, Dr. McClellan worked with the Downtown Churches United Hope Center, as the volunteer office manager. Professional experiences in the ministry include: minister, Harlem Church of Christ and Washington Heights Church of Christ, both of New York City; minister, Faith Presbyterian Church, Pine Bluff, Ark.; and minister, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Petersburg.

Dr. McClellan held memberships in many professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Professionals, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, the Student Personnel Association for Teacher Education; the American Association for Higher Education; the Southern College Personnel Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the Virginia Guidance Association. He was also a member of many civic organizations, including the Civic and Progressive Action Association of the Matoaca Magisterial District, secretary and treasurer of the Petersburg Pilots Association, life member of the NAACP, life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Westminster Presbyterian Church. He served Chesterfield County as chair of the Airport Advisory Board, the Electoral Board, and the Committee on the Future, and as a member of the Community Development Block Grant Committee.

Over the years, Dr. McClellan received countless professional and community awards, but none were more meaningful to him than the Chesterfield County Lifetime Achievement Award he received in 2011, which recognized his longtime service to the community. He was recognized again by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in October 2013 when they presented him with a special Resolution recognizing his commitment and dedication to the Chesterfield County.

Dr. McClellan enjoyed traveling with his family and such travels included trips to the majority of the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Europe and the Bahamas. He enjoyed recreational flying in his 1948 Piper Cruiser and enjoyed writing the newsletter for and participating in the Petersburg Pilots Association. He was an avid baseball fan and enjoyed attending Atlanta Braves (his favorite baseball team) and Washington Nationals games. He also enjoyed photography and spending time with his four grandchildren.

Dr. Mac, as he was affectionately known, is survived by: his loving and dedicated wife, Lois Dedeaux McClellan of South Chesterfield County; three devoted daughters, Jean E. McClellan-Holt (William) of Chesapeake, Julie D. McClellan (Gregory Beckwith) of Midlothian, and Jennifer L. McClellan (David Mills) of Richmond. He has four doting grandchildren, Kirsten E. Holt, Brittany D. Beckwith, Gregory "BJ" Beckwith, and Jackson "Jack" Mills; two brothers, Roger McClellan and Kenneth McClellan, both of Nashville, Tenn.; and numerous relatives; and friends.

Services for Dr. James F. McClellan Jr. will be held 12 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at Zion Baptist Church, 225 Byrne St., Petersburg, the Rev. Dr. Archie German, interim pastor, and the Rev. Dr. Andrew J. White Sr., eulogist. Interment to follow at Sunset Memorial Park.

Family visitation will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at the funeral establishment, where the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will hold their Omega service.

Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Dr. McClellan at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Dr. James F. McClellan Jr. Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1347, Colonial Heights, VA 23834.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.

Published in The Progress-Index from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19, 2014
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