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Mr. Frank Arnold McClure, Jr., 88, of Varnville, passed away after a sudden illness on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at MUSC in Charleston.
Funeral services will be held 11 o’clock, Saturday morning, February 10, 2018 at First Baptist Church, 165 Palmetto Avenue West, Varnville, SC. Interment will follow in the Varnville Cemetery on Pine Street.
Born September 22, 1929 in Charleston, SC he was the son of the late Frank Arnold McClure, Sr. and Emily Griffin McClure. Frank graduated from Varnville High School, Class of 1946, where he was a member of the high school band and played on the basketball team. He worked at the old Varnville Theater and Fairfax Theater, running the projectors. After high school, Frank attended Clemson, where he graduated with the class of 1950. He served his country in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant during the Korean Conflict. He was recently selected to travel on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC.
Frank's life was centered around God, Family, Church, and his hometown. As a faithful and active member of First Baptist Church of Varnville, he was a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and choir member. He was the first Lay Moderator of the Allendale-Hampton Baptist Association, and served on the board of the South Carolina Baptist Foundation. His love of the Lord led him to serve on several mission trips. Additionally, he helped to start and support Harmony Baptist Church and Oak Grove Baptist Church. He often served as the hands and feet of Christ, as he sought to meet the needs of many individuals in his community. Most recently he was able to see one of his life-long dreams come to fruition with the opening of the First Baptist Church Life Center.
He was a devoted husband and loving father, step father, grandfather and uncle. He treasured spending time with his family and watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren grow. One of his passions was researching his family genealogy, and reconnecting with family members across the country. He loved people and in the words of his children, he never met a stranger.
Frank dearly loved the town of Varnville and devoted many hours to ensure his community would grow and prosper. He served as Mayor of Varnville for two terms; served as a Town Councilman; and was a volunteer fireman. He was instrumental in developing the Varnville Town Park, including the construction of the gazebo and the relocation and preservation of the old depot. His lifelong love of trains also led him to seek out an authentic caboose to add to the park. He was president of the Varnville Cemetery Association. He assisted in writing the book, Railroads and Sawmills, a history of Varnville. He served on the Hampton Regional Medical Center Board. Frank had many interests, to include teaching his children to fish, piloting his Cessna airplane, and communicating with people around the world on his Ham Radio. He refereed high school basketball and football, and later in life was a proud member of the Hardee’s Coffee Club.
Frank also believed in a strong work ethic. During his professional career, he owned and operated the Varnville Hardware and McClure Insurance Agency. He was the President of the Hampton County Bank, where he worked for more than 40 years. He was a former President of the South Carolina Independent Bankers Association.
Surviving are: his wife, Dickie Polk McClure; children, Vicki McClure McCormick of Orangeburg, Terri McClure Downer and her husband Dave of Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, Arnie McClure and his wife Mitzi of Charleston, Joey Harter, Jr. and his wife Frankie of Brunson, Cindy H. Johnson and her husband Keith of Fripp Island, and Debbie H. Bullard and her husband Perry of Brunson; 15 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Doris Wilson McClure; daughter, Merri McClure; and a sister, Emily McClure Doar.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to: First Baptist Church of Varnville Life Center, Post Office Box 306, Varnville, South Carolina 29944.
The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5 until 8 at THE BRICE W. HERNDON AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORY, VARNVILLE-HAMPTON CHAPEL, 1074 Yemassee Highway, Varnville, 843.943.5016. Visit the registry online at: www.briceherndonfuneralhome.com.