Obituaries published in the Wednesday, March 13, 2002, edition of The Messenger.
William P. McLure
William P. McLure, 91, of Solon Care Center, died Saturday, March 9, 2002, in Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
A memorial service will occur in Iowa City on April 17 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City.
His body has been donated to the College of Medicine, University of Iowa.
Later, a graveside ceremony will be held to bury his ashes in the Tuscaloosa Memorial Park, where his wife is buried.
Dr. McLure was born Nov. 29, 1910, in Pike County on a farm near Troy, to Samuel Edwin and Mary Ollie McLure. He attended a one-room school built on land that his father gave, finished high school in Brundidge, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Alabama.
He married Inez Deal in Tuscaloosa on Aug. 18, 1933.
He taught science in Citronelle and Talladega, became high school principal in Talladega, and joined the Masons there. He also worked briefly as a chemist.
In 1945, he earned his Ph. D. from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, after which he worked for a year at the New York State Education Department.
For a short time, he taught in the College of Education at the University of Mississippi, and then in 1948, began his major life work as member of the faculty of the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
In 1951, he took over leadership of the Bureau of Educational Research at the University of Illinois, a position he held until he retired in 1979.
One of Dr. McLure’s research reports, Vocational and Technical Education in Illinois: Tomorrow’s Challenge, was influential in shaping the master plan for the junior college system in Illinois, including the movement toward full state funding for these colleges.
Another, A Study of the Public Schools of Illinois, attracted the interest of the governor and led to the formation of a 57-member blue ribbon task force to review statewide problems and priorities in education and make recommendations in Education for the Future in 1966.
Many of the proposals, including one in 1973 for financial reform, were incorporated into law.
Dr. McLure served as president of the American Educational Finance Association.
He was one of five professors assigned responsibility for a National Educational Finance Project in 1969-1972.
He was a leader in cost analysis studies of school finance and organizational characteristics in Illinois, Texas, Florida, and conducted major studies on public school financing in some 20 states.
As he approached retirement, he attended Parkland College in Champaign and earned certificates as a master watchmaker and a master clockmaker.
He joined the American Watchmakers & Clockmakers Institute.
He also studied the violin for several years after his retirement and entertained family and friends with his music.
He was an active member of Presbyterian churches in Talladega, in Champaign-Urbana, and after retirement, in Tuscaloosa.
Survivors include his son, John William, and daughter-in-law, Gail Thomas of Iowa City; two brothers, Ralph of Marianna, Fla.; Frank of Troy; three sisters, Helen Park and Betty Drew of Marietta, Ga., and Mary Alice Jump of Dalton, Ga.; two grandsons, David Paul of Shrewsbury, Mass., and John Rankin of Iowa City and three great-grandchildren, Matthew and Amanda McLure of Shrewsbury and John Dorsey McLure of Iowa City.
His wife died in 1995.
The Rev. Robert E. Watts
The Rev. Robert E. Watts died March 8, 2002. Funeral services will be Friday, March 15, 2002, at 1 p.m. at Greater Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Tuskeege with the Rev. Dr. Clarence P. Nobel officiating and George F. Grubbs Funeral Home directing. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery with the funeral home directing.
The Rev. Robert E. Watts was born June 2, 1946, in Jasper to the late Robert E. and Macey Watts.
From this union, two
children were born – Robert and Mary.
He united in marriage with Rubye Wier. To this union, one daughter, Senita Felice, was born.
She preceded him in death.
He received his early education in Walker County, Alabama.
He continued his education at Stillman College and Auburn University Montgomery, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Public Administration, respectively. Later he completed theological studies and received an Honorary Doctorate from Faith College.
He held pastorates during his ministerial career at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church (Dozier), Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (Opelika) and Star Hope Missionary Baptist (Luverne).
He was also the Dean of Education for the Helicon District Association of Churches.
His affiliations included Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the Masonic Lodge in his hometown, and several other civic organizations.
His work experience included Parent Coordinator of Sumter County Early Intervention Program (Headstart), Chief Deputy Sheriff of Macon County Sheriff’s Department and Chief of Police of Shorter, Alabama.
Survivors include: his wife, Rubye Wier Watts; one sister, Mary W. Smith (J.W.) of Columbus, Miss.; one niece, Macehalle Watts of Birmingham; one great nephew, Robert J. Watts of Auburn; a mother-in-law, Tryphenia D. Wier of Carrollton uncle, Attorney Calvin Wier of Boston, Mass.; sisters-in-law (Yvonne, Elizabeth, Norma); brothers-in-law (George, Norman, Ellis); their children; several cousins; International Exchange daughter, Sonja Mueller of Landau, Germany; and friends.
Honorary flower bearers are the missionary society.
Active floral bearers are ministers’ wives and deacons’ wives.
Honorary pallbearers are ministers.
Pallbearers are Bro. John Harris, Bro. Eluchious Patrick, Bro. Elliott Salter, Bro. Jesse Salter, Bro. Walter Williams, Bro. Bennie McDonald, Bro. Larry Patrick, Bro. Wayne Strickland, Bro. Earnest Grady, Bro. Phillip Lockhart, Bro. Willie Perry.