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2021 Memorials

February 5, 2021

Dr. Stephen R. Chapman (1936-2021), Associate Professor Emeritus of Agronomy and Soils and Dean, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy from the University of California, Davis. He also received his PhD from Davis in genetics. Dr. Chapman started his career in 1966 at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT where he became a full professor. He came to Clemson University in August of 1977 as associate academic dean for the College of Agriculture later becoming the dean of the college. Dr. Chapman took a sabbatical from 1988-1991 and obtained his law degree in Missoula Montana.  He returned to Clemson after receiving his law degree and taught genetics briefly before moving to the  VP for Research office as the Senior Contract Advisor and Patent Law Adviser/Attorney. He retired from Clemson in 2005.  Of the numerous professional societies in which he was a fellow, he was especially proud to be a fellow of the both the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.

Dr. James Edwin “Ed” Clark (1933-2021), Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, he received his degree from North Carolina State University. He worked for three years designing bridges and roads in private industry before becoming an instructor of Civil Engineering at the University of South Carolina, then North Carolina State University, followed by a stint as an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at Mississippi State. Professor Clark then taught graduate students in Transportation at Clemson University in 1970 for 26 years, where he began as an associate professor and earned his full professorship, retiring as a Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering. Teaching was his calling and passion, and Professor Clark especially championed aspiring female engineers.  After retirement, Professor Clark served as a deacon for the First Baptist Church of Clemson, where he was an active member for more than 40 years. He practiced service to his community and to his students. He chaired the Board of Architectural Review for the city of Clemson and contributed his expertise to anything related to “transportation” in that city. Professor Clark embodied integrity, dignity, and humility.

Mr. Thomas Frank Collins (1934-2021), Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, he received his master’s degree from Clemson University. Along with other professors, they started Electrical Associates of Clemson. Mr. Collins was a member of Pendleton United Methodist Church.

Mr. William Funchess (1927-2021) , Associate Professor Emeritus of Agronomy and District Extension Leader, he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from Clemson University. He served as First Lieutenant with the 24th Infantry Division and was among the first combat troops sent to Korea upon the outbreak of hostilities in 1950. He was later hit by machinegun fire, was captured by the Chinese Communists Army and was held as a Prisoner of War for 34 months. Upon separation from the army in 1954, Mr. Funchess was employed by the Clemson University Extension Service and served as assistant County Agent in Edgefield County and later in Richland County. In 1960 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents for his accomplishment in Allendale County. He was transferred to the Clemson University campus in 1970 and was promoted to the position of District Agent where he supervised Extension personnel and programs in one third of the state. He also held the academic rank of Associate Professor in the Agronomy Department. In 1997 he authored a book, Korea P.O.W-A Thousand Days of Torment which told of some of his Korea experiences. In 2002 he was awarded the Palmetto Cross, the highest award given by the South Carolina Military Department, In 2007 the Department of Navy advised Mr. Funchess they were using portions of his book and VHS tape in the teaching of their escape and evasion course. In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor bestowed on citizens of South Carolina. He was also a 2018 Inductee to Clemson University Lever Hall of Fame.

Dr. Lawrence Harvey, Professor Emeritus of Agronomy and Soil, passed away on February 13, 2021. He was a dedicated father who taught his children so very much. He was an accomplished agronomist having earned several distinguished recognitions. In his leisure time he loved to fish, hunt, and spend time with his family. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Dr. Sidney B. Hayes, Professor Emeritus of Entomology and Department Chair passed away on August 26, 2021. More information to follow.

Dr. John Lane Idol (1932-2021)  Alumni Professor Emeritus of English, he received his degree from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Idol accepted an appointment at Clemson University in 1964 and taught there until his retirement in 1995. His special interests were the 19th century American novel and 17th century British poetry. Outside the classroom, he enjoyed playing intramural softball, earning over 500 victories as a pitcher; singing in the community choir, and gardening. He was twice elected to the Clemson Faculty Senate. He actively participated in professional organizations and held the position of president of the Thomas Wolfe Society, the Nathanial Hawthorne Society, the Philological Association of the Carolinas, and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. He was a founding member of both the Wolfe and the Hawthorne Society. As an editor of literary journals, he oversaw the publication of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review for nine years and served as articles editor for the Thomas Wolfe Review. He was a consulting editor for the South Carolina Review and the Thomas Wolfe Review. Dr. Idol founded and then edited the Idol Family Newsletter for 30 years. This publication highlighted past and present members of the Idol family from Deep Gap, Kernersville, Tennessee, and Kansas. Dr. Idol won citations for distinguished service from the Thomas Wolfe Society, The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, and the American Literature Association. He was named a distinguished professor of English and the Clemson Class of 1939 awarded him $5000 for outstanding teaching and research. The author of dozens of articles and reviews, he wrote two books on Thomas Wolfe, co-authored one on Hawthorne, edited & co-edited six works by Wolfe, co-compiled a book of contemporary reviews of Hawthorne’s work, and co-edited a volume of original essays on Hawthorne and women. In retirement, he remained active as a teacher, serving as a visiting lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill, a volunteer teacher at the Chapel Hill Senior Citizens’ Center, and was a member of the teaching team for the Duke University program for learning in retirement.

Mr. James Hoyt Jones Jr. (1934-2021) Lecturer, retired, School of Computing, he received his degree from Clemson in Electrical Engineering in 1957. While at Clemson, Jim was a class officer, a member of Blue Key, Tiger Brotherhood and The Numeral Society. He was cheerleader all four years and was The Head Cheerleader his senior year. Upon graduation, Jim and Bobbie married and Jim began his service in the Army where he achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  Jim had a long and blessed career with IBM in sales, management and consulting. Jim and Bobbie were grateful for the opportunity that IBM afforded them to live overseas (Greece, Singapore and Indonesia). Jim retired from IBM and began teaching computer science courses at Clemson where he continued for 17 years. After retiring from teaching, he continued to work at the Testing Center at Clemson until his death. He loved Clemson and was proud to be a member of The Emeritus College from his alma mater.

Dr. Graydon Chapman Kingsland (1928-2021) Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Physiology, he received his degree from Penn State University. After high school, he then served his country by serving in the US Navy with the Construction Battalion. After his military service received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, a Master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, then a PhD from Penn State University. He taught plant pathology and mycology at Clemson University, where he also did research on diseases of cereal grains crops with the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology. Graydon loved to travel and was passionate about hiking and Civil War history.

Dr. Daniel Dixon Lee (1935-2021) Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, he received his degree from North Carolina State University. Dixon joined the ROTC program at Clemson and went on to enlist in the US Army as a 2nd Lt. He served his country faithfully for two years. He went on to earn a doctorate from North Carolina State University. He served as the Assistant Dean of the School of Agriculture at Southern Illinois University, then later returned to Clemson to serve as Chairman of the Dairy Science Department, from which he eventually retired. He was inducted into the South Carolina Dairy Hall of Fame in 2012. Dixon was a Mason as well as a Shriner.

Dr. William Maker (1949-2021) Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion, he received his degree from The New School for Social Research. Dr. Maker retired in 2017 after 38 years of service to Clemson University.

Dr. Michael T. Maloney (1949-2021) Professor Emeritus of Economics, he received his degree from Louisiana State University. Mike was a Professor of Economics at Clemson university for 45 years. He had an enormous zeal for life, endless curiosity, and he brought a keen intensity to all of his many and varied pursuits. He was an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Jack McCormac (1927-2021) Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, he earned a M.S. from MIT in 1949,  in Civil Engineering. In 1995, Clemson University honored him with a Doctor of Letters. His time there was interrupted by two years in the Army Air Corps Weather Service, during which he rose from the rank of private to second lieutenant.  While teaching at Clemson for 36 years, Professor McCormac became a full professor, and published seven major texts in the areas of structural analysis, structural steel design, reinforced concrete design, and surveying. He became one of the foremost and most widely sold authors of engineering texts in the world. His textbooks remain in print today, have been adopted for use at over 500 colleges and universities around the world, and have been translated into many different languages.  Professor McCormac was a licensed Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor, and served on the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Engineers and Land Surveyors for ten years, chairing it for two years. He worked for four years in the Construction Division of E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc., at the Savannah River Plant. Professor McCormac graded national engineering licensing exams for many years, conducted research at the University of Edinburgh, and served for many years on The Citadel’s Civil Engineering Advisory Board. Professor McCormac received multiple awards for outstanding educator of the year and for professional achievement.  In 1999, the Engineering News-Record listed Jack McCormac as one of the most outstanding 125 engineers and architects of the last 125 years, alongside Thomas Edison, Buckminster Fuller, Henry Kaiser, Frank Lloyd Wright, I.M. Pei, and Gustav Eiffel, among others. Professor McCormac was humbled by awards, always saying that he wrote textbooks for his own classrooms to try to make engineering more interesting and understandable. He was passionate about teaching, and he delighted in the success of his students. He was a demanding teacher, expecting a high standard of work, but he strove to communicate and motivate, and was always willing to help students outside of the classroom. Consistently, he urged students to answer the call to adopt “lifelong self-instruction.”

Dr. James Cleo Miller, Jr. (1944-2021) Assistant Dean for Clemson Extension Personnel, he received his bachelors, masters and doctorate from Clemson University. He also served in the Army, with a one-year tour in Vietnam and was a Bronze Star Medal recipient.  He was a proud member of Trinity Baptist Church in Seneca, SC, where he served the Lord by holding many different positions over the years.

Mr. Stanley Gosanko Nicholas (1928-2021) Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Vice President for Development.  Mr. Nicholas retired in 1988 and was wonderfully forthright, generous and caring.

Dr. Larry Wayne Olson (1949-2021) Associate Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, he received his degree from the University of Nebraska. Larry had a passion for detail. At an early age, he developed a love for cattle and fishing while working on his parents farm and ranch in Osage County outside of Grainola, Oklahoma. Larry graduated from Shidler High School with many honors, especially in 4-H on a local and state level. He never wavered about his dream of building a bull and cattle research facility once he received his doctorate. At Clemson University he was: Associate Professor and Founder of the Edisto Forage Bull Test. Throughout life he loved to fish. He could tell you how many fish he caught each day and every year, the weather on that day, location, and lure he caught them on. His focus for detail was unmatched in his career and fishing.

Dr. Lauretta (Rett) Irene Park (1934-2021) Professor Emerita of Psychology, at the age of 28, Lauretta decided to take a college course This decision led to a BA degree from Muskingum University and a Ph.D. in physiological psychology from Florida State University. After graduate school, Lauretta had a distinguished career teaching at Clemson University for 32 years and retired in 2004.  Lauretta was an outgoing, gregarious woman who enjoyed travel, shopping, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, and especially spending time with her family, friends, and students. She had a great sense of humor, and loved music. Lauretta always met everyone with a smile and would inevitably strike up a conversation that sometimes led to lifelong relationships. It must be noted that she had a special, lasting relationship with Dr. W.D. Gentry, her family doctor.

Dr. Thomas D. Potts (1942-2021) Professor Emeritus of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, he received his degree from Texas A & M. Retired, but still serving his community through participation and support of the arts, progressive activism, and environmental conservation.  He produced and managed an international service program at Clemson and retired with academic and working partnerships in Slovakia, Turkey and Ecuador. Prior to Clemson, he worked in satellite programs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in the US Congress in oceanic technology and space science and applications. His programs on natural development of hospitality and environmental resources won award after award and he received honors throughout his career including a Fulbright Scholarship in Slovakia, the Strom Thurmond Associate Award, the Leadership Beaufort Award and others. He leaves literally hundreds of presentations, publications (manuals, guides, abstracts, and workshops) many of which are still used and followed academically and practiced all over the world. He was a member of Phi Sigma, the National Biological Sciences Honor Society and Master Mason of the Auburn Mason Lodge in Learned, Mississippi. Tom was loved by many, admired and respected throughout every industry and area he worked in and hailed from a legendary group of archeologists all of whom, including Dr. Potts, were leaders in their chosen fields. Tom showed up when needed, he served tirelessly and he counted.

Brigadier General Beverly N. Skardon (1917-2021) Professor Emeritus of English, he received his degrees from Clemson College University of Georgia.  Following in the steps of his older brothers, he entered the United States Army in 1939. During WWII, Ben served in the Philippine Islands and was captured by the Japanese Army at the fall of Bataan in 1942. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and POW camps. In August 1945, he was liberated by units of the Russian Army in Mukden, Manchuria. Ben would later go on to serve in the Korean Conflict as Secretary General Staff to I Corps in 1951. Subsequently, Ben’s military career included serving as an instructor in the Tactical Department, the Infantry School, Ft. Benning, GA; Battalion Commander, 85th Infantry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany; Chief, War Plans, VII Corps, Stuttgart, Germany; the ROTC Staff, Clemson University; Regimental Commander and Chief of Staff, The Infantry Training Center, Ft. Gordon, GA. Military decorations awarded throughout his career include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster; four Bronze Stars, one with the “V” device; the Purple Heart; and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He was inducted into the Inaugural National ROTC Hall of Fame. The Bataan Memorial Death March conducted at White Sands Missile Range held a special place in Ben’s heart since 2007. He traveled there the past 12 years to honor and remember Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan, the two former Clemson cadets whom he credited for saving his life, and other American and Filipino soldiers who served alongside him. Sixty Minutes did an interview with him in 2016 about the importance of this event and his survival of the Bataan Death March. In 2021, unable to return to New Mexico, Ben participated in the Clemson 8 Challenge to honor seven other alumni from Clemson who were held captive by the Japanese.

In 1964, he was appointed to the faculty at Clemson University. His love of “standing behind the podium” and interest in his student’s education and lives would earn him the Alumni Master Teacher Award in 1977. He retired from Clemson University as Associate Professor of English in 1983. Clemson University has awarded several honors to Ben including the Distinguished Service Award, and the highest honor bestowed by the University, The Clemson Medallion. The Skardon Clemson Ring Endowment was established in 2013, and the Memorial Stadium flagpole was dedicated in his honor in 2016. During a 100th birthday celebration hosted by Clemson University, Governor Henry McMaster presented him with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s greatest honor.

Dr. William Merle Surver (1943-2021) Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, he earned his degree from the University of Notre Dame. After teaching biology and genetics at the University of Rhode Island, in 1979, Bill joined the faculty of Clemson University where he taught biology for 39 years. In addition to his teaching duties, he held the position of Department Head of Biological Sciences and served as Faculty Senate President. In 2018, he was bestowed with the title of Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences. An enthusiastic Clemson football fan, a lover of travel, photography and folk-art, Bill will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his vibrant personality, and his kind nature.

Dr. John H. Syme (1925-2021) Professor Emeritus of Forest Resources, received his degree from Clemson University. His professional career consisted of nearly 30 years in the wood products industry and upon retiring from that joined the Department of Forestry at Clemson University.  John was a US Navy veteran of WWII, a tenure he served with honor and was a member of Clemson United Methodist Church.  John also loved gardening and attained Master Gardener status through the Clemson University Master Gardening Program. He also loved the game of golf,  playing numerous courses, many in Scotland, and attending the Master’s in Augusta annually. John will be remembered by many as the penultimate gentleman, encouraging by nature, respectful of women and their minds as evidenced by hiring them to work in his company in the 1950’s when it was not a popular idea, and dedicated to influencing learners of all ages to be patient, open minded, and to always be willing to learn even more.

Dr. Patricia Walker Wannamaker (1929-2021) Professor Emeritus of Languages and Director and Founder of Language and International Trade Department, she received her degree from Louisiana State University. She was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned her PhD from LSU. She was a longtime teacher at Clemson University and was the founder of the Language and International Trade Department at Clemson. She was a very active member of Trinity Wesleyan Church and loved to be involved with and teaching Bible Study.

Dr. William A. Ward (1942-2021) Professor Emeritus of Economics, he received his degree from Michigan State University. He attended Clemson University on a football scholarship and was starting halfback for Hall of Fame Coach Frank Howard who called Bill “pound-for-pound”, the toughest player I ever coached.” He was awarded the Jacobs Trophy in 1964. He was one of two Americans among 30 global selections to the World Bank Young Professionals Program in 1970 as two competing  approaches to cost-benefit analysis were emerging. He mastered both approaches and developed training materials illustrating each, one of which became the world’s most widely taught economic analysis case study 1975-2000. His 1991 book was the Bank’s bestselling title for the 1990’s. In 1989, Bill was named a Centennial Distinguished Alumnus of his beloved Clemson University where he was Professor of economics for 23 years. He embraced the Land Grant mission to serve the people of SC and ended his classes with “Go out, do good work, and remember Clemson!” He was in great demand as a teacher of project economics and microeconomic policy to the staff at the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance  corporation, Food and Agriculture organization of the UN, UN Development Program and aid officials all over the world. His methods of listening and processing information were filmed and taught to other trainers and consultants. He worked in more than 80 countries and was an advisor to foreign governments and development institutions, including the World Bank where he was the Project Economics Expert on the Bank’s Inspection Panel. He was famous for his creativity in finding solutions to problems in which the problem itself had been mis-identified. Bill was the coauthor of many peer-reviewed articles and books, including the recent LIVING IN THE LIGHT which describes a project that brought affordable solar electricity to 20 million off-the-grid people in Bangladesh. The methodologies he developed have become best practice for offgrid electrification economic and financial evaluations. The book was published by The World Bank six days after his death–He worked to the very end to make the world a better place for millions of people all over the world.

Dr. William E. “Bill” West (1936-2021) Professor Emeritus of Graphic Communications, received his degree from The Ohio State University. In 1957, he took his first teaching position at Albany High School and began teaching at Grandview Heights in 1959. He would later become Principal at Grandview. While teaching at Grandview and working on his Master’s degree at Ohio State, he joined the Ohio National Guard and was stationed at Fort Knox, KY for 6 months. He was assigned to Cook’s School and excelled to the point they offered him a promotion to E7, Staff Sergeant. He turned down the Army and after the 6 months was completed, returned to teaching at Grandview. After earning his Master’s Degree at Ohio State, he was offered a Graduate Assistantship towards a Doctorate in Industrial Education. He completed his PhD in Industrial Education in June 1969. Upon completion of his Doctorate, he accepted a position to teach Industrial Education at Clemson University. He would end up working for Clemson for 36 years, earning Professor Emeritus status. During his time at Clemson, he held several different positions in addition to being a tenured professor; the first being the Director of Educational Services, then Associate Dean of Education, then Acting Dean of Education, and finally Department Chair of the Graphic Communications Department, of which he retired at in 2005. Once he retired, he bought 32 foot Monaco and travelled extensively throughout the country with Sharon, and many times, also with the grandchildren. He was a long-time member of the Lions Club, first joining in Columbus in 1964 and then transferring his membership to the Clemson Club. He served in every office of the Club and in 1977 was elected District Governor of 32-A. He was very active on the state level, serving as State Secretary, as Director of the South Carolina Lions Foundation, and President of the South Carolina Lions Eye Bank. He was elected as International Director at the 1991 Lions International Convention in Brisbane, Australia, serving a 2-year term. He was awarded the Ambassador of Good Will, the highest honor of the association, as well as was bestowed as a Melvin Jones Fellow.

Dr. Mervin White (1935-2021) Professor Emeritus of Sociology, he received his degree from University of Kentucky.  Mervin served in the Air Force in the 7th Air Police Squadron. He earned a Bachelor’s and Masters from BYU and a PhD from the University of Kentucky. As a professor he taught Sociology at Washington State University and Clemson University, eventually retiring from Clemson University. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving in many leadership positions. One of his passions was counselling people without charge, which he did until his death.

Dr. Woodie Williams (1931-2021) Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Packaging and Chair, he received his degree from Texas A &M. While in college he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternity and served as President of the Mississippi State University Baptist Student Union and also President of the Mississippi Baptist Student Union in 1953.  Williams served in the Army as a First Lt. 1953-56 and remained as an officer in the Army Reserve for four additional years.  He was employed as Manager of Nutrition of the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis and became Professor and Department Head at Clemson University in 1964 serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1993. He was President and Owner of Nutrition One, Inc for 20 years serving as an International Consultant.  He was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta and Poultry Science Association and the author of numerous publications related to methodology of amino acid analysis, protein and lipid nutrition.  In 1997 Dr. Williams was honored with a Life Time Achievement Award by the SC Food Industry Association and in 2013 he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Modern Poultry Industry.  He was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation, a former member and deacon of the Clemson First Baptist Church for more than 50 years where he served as teacher of students and a men’s Sunday School Class and also chairman of numerous church committees.  He was a Board member of the Clemson Downs Property Owners Association and V President of the Wexford Development Inc.

 



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