Donald "Doggy" McClure '50 September 20, 2022 12:55 PM updated: September 20, 2022 1:32 PM
Donald P. McClure
December 17, 1928 ~ September 15, 2022
Donald Parker McClure, dedicated and loving husband, devoted father, and adoring grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully on September 15, 2022 at the age of 93. He was born in Brownsville, Texas on December 17, 1928 to Francess Titzell McClure and Kendall Bailey McClure. Along with his older brother, Ken, they grew up in a rural setting in Bayview, Texas living a young boys dream; hunting, fishing, swimming in the resacas, and plinking rabbits at night along the county roads. After their parents divorced when the boys were young, they were raised by their mother and surrounding friends.
Donald moved to Corpus Christi in 1939 when his mother married Dwight Carlsen. “Doggy,” as his friends nicknamed him while at Wynn Seale Junior High School, made many friends in his new hometown. He went to high school at Schreiner Institute in Kerrville from 1943 to 1946. Doggy then attended Texas A&M University at College Station.
While at Texas A&M, Doggy was elected president of his Sophomore class. He was also active in the YMCA. Through that involvement, in 1948 he was selected as one of only two students from the state of Texas to spend two months in Europe attending the World Student Study Group, where he would meet with students from over twenty countries to further relationships after the conclusion of World War II. Doggy was a dedicated leader in the Corps of Cadets, “A” Company Infantry, and as a senior, he was proud to serve as Commander of the Ross Volunteer Honor Company. He was the first to wear the widely recognized red silk sash that is still worn only by officers in the elite group today. Upon graduation in 1950, he received a degree in Business and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Army Reserves.
The Korean War started in 1950 and Doggy was called to duty. He was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division as an infantry platoon leader. He trained at Camp Polk, Louisiana and Hokkaido, Japan before entering the battle in Korea. Doggy was wounded in action and sent home for discharge in 1952. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Ribbon with two campaign stars, Army of Occupation medal and the United Nations medal.
Doggy married Sally Garrett on March 3, 1951, and she has remained his lifelong love for 71 years. After the war, they continued to build their life back at home in Corpus Christi. Doggy worked for Lamar Turner servicing Conoco stations and farms in the area. He and Richard Durham formed Bulldog Distributing Company which sold B.F. Goodrich tires and batteries to Texaco and Conoco service stations throughout the Coastal Bend. Doggy then went to work at Swantner and Gordon Insurance Agency. He earned the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter designation (CPCU) and was a past President of the Corpus Christi Independent Insurance Agents. During his career, at Swantner and Gordon he was Vice President, Treasurer, and Sales Manager, helping to lay the foundation for a successful company with his friends, partners, and wonderful employees before retirement. Afterwards, he spent two more years in the insurance business working with longtime friend, Loyd Neal, at Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs (“HRH”), formerly known as W.L. Dinn & Company, Inc., before retiring again.
Doggy was continuously active in The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M throughout his life. He served as an Area Representative, Class Agent, Lifetime Member and President of the Nueces County A&M Club, and finally as President of the Sul Ross Group, which encompasses those Aggies who graduated over 55 years ago. He gave back to the school he loved for many years through the Sul Ross Scholarship program. When he was able, he travelled to College Station many times to meet and get to know the recipient of that year’s scholarship and would keep up with them through their time at Texas A&M and beyond. Doggy and Sally ensured their support of students in the Corps of Cadets would live on through a President Earl Rudder Scholarship. Doggy believed “There’s a lot of kids out there who are going to make good Aggies, and we ought to give them a chance and I’m willing to put in my share and try to help them.”
Doggy was committed to serving others throughout his life. He gave over thirty years of volunteer service to The American Cancer Society, serving on all committees from the city, to county, to state levels and finally serving on the Board as the Texas Division Chairman. Doggy was a Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, member of the Order of the Arrow and a longtime fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the Corpus Christi Downtown Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow), volunteered many hours with the United Way, and was a graduate of the Corpus Christi Citizen’s Police Academy. He was a founding member of the Corpus Christi Mustangs, an organization through which he found much joy, most especially through his years as “Rib Boss.” Doggy was a member of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club, the Corpus Christi Country Club, The Kings Men, and also served as a director of the First State Bank of Corpus Christi. Doggy was a member of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, where he and Sally were married on March 3, 1951. He served on the Vestry three times, once as a Junior Warden.
One of Doggy’s greatest loves was the outdoors. He treasured time with Sally and the family at the ranch outside Leakey, Texas. Doggy spent many years walking those canyons, exploring, feeding and photographing wildlife and nature until time slowed him down. He loved to hunt and loved to share his time in the fields and blinds with his children and grandchildren, teaching them invaluable lessons in honor, respect and conservation of the gifts that God has shared with us. He not only loved photography, but he had an innate talent for it and his favorite subjects were nature and his family. Doggy spent countless hours along those banks of the Frio River planting and nurturing his Cyprus trees.
Doggy’s relationship with God was so very important to him. Just before he was deployed to Korea, Sally’s grandmother gave him a mustard seed to carry with him for protection. He was gravely wounded on the battlefield with a severed femoral artery and was awakened by a priest delivering his last rites. In that moment he gave his life to the Lord. As it says in Matthew 17:20, “if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Doggy knew the parable of the mustard seed and how God uses that tiny seed to make an enormous tree of faith. He never lost that seed, carrying it on his pistol during the war, then on his keychain and watchband throughout the rest of his life. It will be interred with his ashes in the columbarium. His beloved trees at the ranch that he nurtured from tiny seeds into great trees will forever be reminders to his family and friends of his abounding faith and his life that was truly well lived.
Doggy is survived by his daughter Catherine Carlsen McClure Sellers Nacci (Bruce) and son Robert Garrett McClure (Kelley). He is also survived by four grandchildren, Sally Sellers Hill (Roger), Robert Webb Sellers, Jr. (Alyse), Sarah Frances McClure, Phillip Garrett McClure; and four great grandchildren, Roger Chilton “Cuatro” Hill IV, Eleanor Porter “Ellie” Hill, Emilie McClure “Emmie” Sellers, and Catherine “Porter” Sellers. In addition, survivors include step-grandsons Neal Nacci and William Nacci and his faithful and loyal companion and friend, Mario Hernandez.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 4:00pm at Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial gifts to the Sally and Donald “Doggy” McClure ’50, General Rudder Corps Scholarship Program, Association of Former Students, 505 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77480-2918; or the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Maintenance Fund, 700 S. Upper Broadway, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401.
The family would like to thank AAdi Home Health and Hospice for their dedicated and compassionate care, along with the special group of ladies that cared for him at home.