December 21, 2022, 89, Goldsboro –
Ellis Luby McClenny, 89, passed away on Wednesday night, December 21st at Wayne UNC Healthcare in Goldsboro.
A service to remember Ellis will be held Wednesday, December 28th at Adamsville Baptist Church. Visitation will be at 1:00 pm and the service will begin at 2:00 pm with Rev. Todd Wiggins and Rev. Pete Williams officiating. Interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
Ellis McClenny was the benevolent patriarch of a family deeply influenced by his moral example. He was a faithful servant of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – and changed countless lives with the enduring integrity of his faith.
He never met a stranger. Ellis loved to talk. Fortunately, after a few seconds of a friendly conversation – generally initiated by him – most people wanted to hear what Ellis McClenny had to say.
His life journey is a beautiful story of family and faith.
He was born on July 8, 1933, in Turkey, North Carolina. His parents, Luby and Sudie, were salt-of-the-earth farmers with a rigorous work ethic that was passed on to their conscientious son. As a youth, Ellis farmed, fished, hunted, and attended Turkey High School where he played multiple sports (his favorite being baseball) in a small graduating class of less than fifty. It was a simple life surrounded by family and friends who loved him, including his Grandparents (on his father’s side) who saw in him an early maturity; a flickering spark of potential. They offered to send him to college if he would return in four years to help run the farm. However, after thoughtful consideration, he chose instead to serve his country in the United States Air Force. As an adventurous young man, Ellis McClenny wanted to see the world. It was a seminal decision that would change his life and the future of his family forever.
It was 1953 when he enlisted and began basic training in San Antonio, Texas. There he met the love of his life, the beautiful, wise, and strong Pauline Morales. Their wonderful marriage would produce three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren and would last for fifty-six years until Pauline’s death in 2010. And what a life they lived! Fulfilling the dreams of his youth, they would see the world together. They were stationed in nineteen different locations (including Japan and Alaska) over a twenty-year military career that saw him retire with the rank of Master Sergeant.
After retirement, Ellis and Pauline settled in Goldsboro, NC in 1974. Exhibiting the strong work ethic developed in his youth, he would earn his business degree at nearby Wayne Community College after joining a local manufacturer, AP Parts. In short order, he would move from an hourly general helper on the shop floor to various key management positions in manufacturing and engineering. His savant-like skills with a myriad of tools along with his talent for problem-solving served him well in life – and in his long, successful career in corporate America.
But – nothing in life was more important to Ellis than being a faithful servant to a loving God.
He and Pauline joined Adamsville Baptist Church in 1974, where he was a member for nearly fifty years. He served God with great passion – he was a strong and wise counselor and a backbone in the day-to-day operation of the church. For years, Eilis served as a deacon or head deacon and taught a well-attended Sunday school class. He changed innumerable lives with the strength and example of his faith in Christ – a faith that never wavered with the passing years. He was elected Head Deacon (once again) just a few months before his death.
Sadly, on Wednesday night, Ellis left us because God called him to his heavenly home. In truth, it’s a difficult thing for us to accept. We all loved him so much.
But we shouldn’t be selfish – he wouldn’t want that – and one thing is clear: those who loved him with full heart and soul will not soon forget his one-of-a-kind life and example. We cling to it in our search for understanding in a polarized and confusing world, we see it in the loving and innocent eyes of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and we feel it when we gather and pray at the family dinner table.
His was a memorable life, a uniquely impactful life, and a precious gift that God gave to those who knew and loved him so deeply. Let us carry his shining example forward with the reassuring comfort that he and Pauline will be watching with humble pride at the strength and character of the grateful family their enduring love leaves behind.
Ellis Luby McClenny will never, ever be forgotten….
He is survived by his three beloved children; Doug and Pam McClenny, John and Kay McClenny, and Paula and David Pruitt; grandchildren Heather and Ben Porter, Kyle and Stephanie McClenny, Ashley Pomerene, Zack and Natalie Pruitt, and Matthew Pruitt; his great-grandchildren, Genevieve and Reece Porter, Logan McClenny, Lillian, Zoey, Cameron Loss, and Jolene Pomerene; his brother Wilbert McClenny, and his sister Virginia Pope and husband George.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center
300 W. Morgan Street, Suite 1000
Durham, NC 27701
Adamsville Baptist Church
1302 N Berkeley Blvd
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Services are entrusted to Seymour Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.