Evalina McClure Harwell ANDREWS

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ANDREWS, Evalina McClure HarwellAge 84, died February 23, 2012 in her Nashville home. She was born April 7, 1927 in Nashville's St. Thomas Hospital. From that day on, she lived no further away than a ten-minute drive from Nashville. She was the daughter of Samuel Knox Harwell, Jr. and Josephine Weakley Douglass Harwell Smith, and granddaughter of the Samuel Knox Harwell, Sr. and of Evalina Weakley Douglass Harwell, for whom she was named. She was predeceased by her husband, James David Andrews III, and by siblings, Leila McClure Harwell Fuqua and Samuel Knox Harwell III. Also predeceasing her was her stepfather, Alden Hitchcock Smith, who had married Josephine Harwell in 1953, ten years after the death of Josephine's first husband, Sam K. Harwell, Jr., in 1943. Evalina Harwell Andrews is survived by her children, James David Andrews IV and wife Jayne, Jonathan Douglass Andrews, Josephine Andrews Barksdale and by her grandchildren, James David Andrews V, Neeley Kelley Andrews, Kelley Anne Andrews, Neil Robertson Andrews, Robert Douglass Andrews, and James Dylan Andrews. Also surviving are her brothers, Alden Hitchcock Smith, Jr. and wife Gayle, E. Dan Smith and wife Sue; sisters-in-law, Ellen Harwell Sadler, Mary Virginia Smith, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Evalina Harwell went to public school for her early education, beginning with Parmer School, which she left after two years because her mother felt she had not learned to spell "Tuesday" correctly. She then transferred to the new Eakin School, where her cousin, Miss Maria Cage, was principal. At age nine she laid the cornerstone for the construction of the Sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church, for which her father led the capital campaign. She went to Ward-Belmont high school, then an all girls' school. After graduating from Ward-Belmont, she went to Vanderbilt University for her freshman and sophomore years. She became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta women's fraternity. On June 17, 1947, she married James David Andrews III, a decorated World War II soldier. From that time forth, both Evalina and David along with other family members were closely involved with McClures Stores Inc., which had been started by her grandfather, Samuel Knox Harwell, Sr., a prominent Nashville merchant, in 1936. In its early days, McClures had stores in many of the small towns around Nashville, as well as a busy location in Hillsboro Village in Nashville. Evalina was a pioneer as a woman in business in Nashville in the mid-fifties. At a time when few women worked, she sought the challenge of being a woman in business. She was strong, independent, smart and respected. At that time McClures was led by Evalina, her husband David, Nelson Andrews, and other family members. McClures evolved from being a general retail store, primarily in small towns, to a specialty department store in Brentwood and Nashville. Evalina eventually became President of McClures store while her husband, David Andrews III, was Chairman of the Board of McClures. In 1973 McClures opened the Harpeth Plaza store in Belle Meade, which earned a reputation as one of the leading independent retail stores in the country. The family business eventually included her sons, David, Douglass and Josephine. McClures closed in 2002. Today, 10 years later, a familiar refrain for Nashville shoppers is, "I miss McClures." Evalina Andrews was a Charter member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, a member of the Ladies' Hermitage Association, the Polk Memorial Association, the National Society of the Colonial Dames Association in Tennessee, member of the Belle Meade Country Club and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Nashville. For a time during her working career, she served as President of Nashville's Better Business Bureau. Evalina settled into a quiet retirement after McClures closed. She remained a knowledgeable resource for her family, including her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and for many others who respected her remarkable ability in overseeing the McClures stores for many years. For her cousins and other relatives, she offered friendly advice whenever asked and also remembered and told family tales that delighted her listeners. Funeral services for Mrs. Andrews will be Monday, February 27, at 11:30 a.m., preceded by a visitation in the church parlor at 10 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. The Reverend Carson Salyer will lead the service. Burial will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery in the family plot. Memorial gifts may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Martha O'Brian Center, or The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
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Published in The Tennessean on Feb. 26, 2012
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