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Rodney Clay McPherson: Clarendon

1940 – 2023

     Rodney Clay McPherson of Clarendon transitioned to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, May 6, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in Whiteville. He was 82.

     Rodney was born at the home to parents George McPherson and Etha Belle Williamson McPherson in the Beaverdam Community. His childhood was pivotal in the development of commitment to fellowman, country, and God. Attendance at Williams Township School aided in the molding of his future. In the elementary grades, Rodney was enlisted to be storyteller for afternoon reading time in lower grades. He actively represented his school in student council governance and trophies won at athletic events. His participation in the school bus driver program developed his ability to identify with parents within a school community.

     Upon graduation from Williams Township School in 1959, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was stationed at multiple sites. When years came to an end of his enlistment, Rodney was compelled to return home and address his ailing father’s health. He began the management of the family farm. While farming, he was employed by Columbus County Agricultural Extension Agency in measuring the Tobacco Allotment Program.

     During the fall schedule, Rodney entered the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Within the next three years, Rodney attained a Bachelor of Science with minors in Psychology and Social Studies.

     At the beginning of Rodney and Linda’s marriage, both were employed by Boys Home of Lake Waccamaw. Along with his counselor position, he was weekend Civitan cottage supervisor. Then president, Rube McCray, influenced Rodney’s style of leadership.

     In 1971 the couple located to Loris where Rodney accepted assistant principalship of Loris High School. Later, the Horry County School System assigned Rodney as assistant principal at Green Sea High School. When consolidation of high schools, Green Sea and Floyds unfolded, Rodney was brought in to blend the two community identities towards a high school of one identity unit of “Oneness.”

     It was at Green Sea Floyds High School that Rodney was allowed to utilize the educational strategy necessary for implementation in high school curricula. His Education Specialist degree from Appalachian State University and the tutelage of Dr. William Randell, Dean of Education, showed Rodney a vision of what education should be. Rodney taught the integration of computer in the classroom to Green Sea Floyds faculty. In PET, Rodney instructed and accessed the levels of teacher professionalism. He served as lead augmenter to schools undergoing assessment for Southern Association Accreditation.

     Rodney’s mantra was simply stated as, Listen, Learn, Link, Lead. It served him well throughout encounters met in life.

     Rodney’s wife Linda Gore McPherson resides in the Bethel home of 52 years in the couple’s marriage of 56 years. His sister Sharon McPherson resides in the Green Sea Floyds Community of Horry County. Nephew Todd Jackson (Sherril) live in Columbia. Niece Georgiana Jackson lives in Columbia. Nephew Jason Jackson and family reside in Michigan. Sister-in-Law, Sharon Gore Wright with niece J. Ashley Wright reside in Chapel Hill.

     In memorandums of Rodney, one may send thoughts of expression to Bethel Methodist Church, c/o Elizabeth McLean, 8546 Lebanon Church Road, Clarendon, North Carolina, 28432 and Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 206 Warrior Trail, Whiteville, North Carolina, 28472.

     Funeral services were planned for 2 p.m. Friday, May 12, in Bethel Methodist Church, burial following in the Bethel Memorial Cemetery, Lebanon Church Road, Clarendon.

     Visitation was planned for the hour preceding services in the church.

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