Ernestine  Diggs  McClure


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  Class  of  1934

Henry County native and retired school teacher Ernestine Diggs McClure, 89, of McKenzie died Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at Lakeside Retirement Center in McKenzie.

Her husband Joe David McClure survives. They were married on June 16, 1940.

Her funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church in McKenzie.

Her sons: Larry McClure of Tualatin, Ore., and David McClure of Houston, Texas, will officiate. Burial will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery at McKenzie.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Saturday at McKenzie Funeral Home.

Born Nov. 19, 1917, she was a daughter of the late Ernest and Bera Diggs.

She also leaves a brother: Jerry Diggs of Nashville; one sister: Nelle Kroll of Knoxville; two daughters-in-law: Ellie (Jerry) McClure and Peggy (David) McClure;

Six grandchildren: Douglas McClure of Marietta, Ga., Andrew McClure and Jennifer McClure Appel, both of Puyallup, Wash., Michael McClure of Houston, Wendy McClure Reinwald of Katy, Texas, and Amy McClure of College Station, Texas; and nine great-grandchildren.

She also was preceded in death by two brothers: Edwin and George Diggs.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 16 N. McTyiere St., McKenzie 38201.


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MCKENZIE: Ernestine McClure was born to Ernest and Bera Diggs at the family home in Henry County (Jones Bend Road near Paris) on November 19, 1917. She had three brothers (Edwin, George and Jerry) and one sister (Nelle).

Her college years were spent at the University of Tennessee at Martin for two years and later received her BS degree in home economics from UT Knoxville in 1938.

There she met her future husband, Joe David McClure from McKenzie, who was studying vocational agriculture. They were married June 15, 1940 at the Diggs family home.

Her first teaching job was home economics, chemistry and biology at Rives High School in 1938.

First son, Larry, was born in Union City in 1941. Soon after, the family began a series of cross-country moves where Ernestine taught various subjects in a variety of grade levels.

Son, David, was born in 1948 while they were living in Oregon. As husband, Joe, accepted assignments teaching for the Air Force and Boeing in Mississippi, Texas and Washington State and then in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific, Ernestine also continued her teaching career, now expanding from kindergarten to adult pilots in training.

Returning to McKenzie in 1963, her favorite teaching assignment was at McKenzie Elementary where she saw more than one generation of children come through her kindergarten room. After retirement, she helped coach adults in a local literacy program.

Church classrooms were also a priority for Ernestine in all the communities where they lived. After returning to McKenzie, she was active at the First United Methodist Church both with children's programs and adult Sunday school and women's programs.

Ernestine was well known in McKenzie for her homecooked foods, much of it starring Joe's fresh garden produce. But home chores never deterred this busy couple from worldwide travels visiting their children and grandchildren as well as extended trips to England, the Holy Land, Africa, Turkey, Italy, France, Mexico and Central America.

In the final decade of her life, Ernestine demonstrated how to overcome adversity as she learned to cope with the ravages of Parkinson's disease. After moving with Joe to Lakeside Retirement Center in McKenzie, she was a model of determination as she enjoyed her handcrafts, doll collection, and word puzzles. She became a daily Internet user and challenged other residents to competitive games of any kind.

She and Joe count six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Son, Larry, and his wife, Ellie, live in Tualatin, Oregon and son, David, and his wife, Peggy, reside in Houston, Texas. Brother, Jerry Diggs, lives in Nashville and sister, Nelle, in Knoxville.

Larry and David officated at the 2:00 p.m. Sunday, July 22 services at McKenzie First United Methodist Church. Ernestine died Wednesday, July 18, at Lakeside Retirement Center.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 16 N. McTyiere Street in McKenzie designated for children's programs.

Grandchildren include: Douglas McClure of Marietta, Georgia, Andrew McClure of Puyallup, Washington, Jennifer McClure Appel of Puyallup, Washington, Michael McClure of Houston, Texas, Wendy McClure Reinwald of Katy, Texas, and Amy McClure of College Station, Texas.

Reprinted from
The McKenzie Banner
McKenzie, Tennessee
July 24, 2007  Edition


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Paris, Tennessee
July 20, 2007  Edition ~ Used by Permission

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