Hector MacLean ’41

Hector MacLean ’41, of Lumberton, N.C., died peacefully at his home on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 2012. He was born Sept. 15, 1920, a son of the late Governor Angus Wilton McLean and Margaret French McLean. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Lyl Warwick MacLean. MacLean also was a brother to the late Margaret McLean Shepherd and Angus Wilton McLean, Jr. He is survived by his only child, Lyl MacLean Clinard (Aaron), 803 W. Farris Ave., High Point, NC 27262; grandchildren, Lyl MacLean Clinard Kluttz (Bill) and Aaron Neal Clinard, Jr. (Betsey); and three grandsons of whom he was very proud, Aaron Neal Clinard III, William Clarence Kluttz IV, and Rudduck Mendenhall Clinard. He is also survived by a nephew, John Calvin Shepherd; two nieces, Lee Shepherd Gurtin and Martha Godwin Shepherd; along with several grandnephews and nieces. During his 92 years, MacLean proudly and unselfishly lived a life of service. Privately, he benefited family and friends in gifts of his time, talents, and assets. Publicly, he served in numerous leadership roles for the First Presbyterian Church of Lumberton (including elder emeritus), the Presbyterian hierarchy of government, the city of Lumberton, the State of North Carolina, and his nation. As a graduate of Davidson and while attending the Wharton School of Business, he volunteered at the outset of World War II. This patriotic service included being a captain in Gen. George Patton’s Third Army during its successful campaigns in Europe. At the conclusion of those perilous times, he was honorably discharged with the rank of major and a Bronze Star Award to begin his life of public service. Upon his return from military service, MacLean successfully completed law school at the University of North Carolina, whereupon he opened a law practice in his hometown of Lumberton. After only a few years, he was called upon to lead as president the National Bank of Lumberton, an institution founded by his father in 1897. This marked the beginning of a long history of success in the banking industry, which continued until his retirement from posts including president, and later CEO, from 1955-90. He led the bank’s efforts in one of the early banking models of mergers and acquisitions under the banner of Southern National Bank. This multi-state corporation at his retirement led shortly thereafter to the merger of equals with BB&T. MacLean’s political career included service as mayor of Lumberton and as a senator in the N.C. Legislator. A state senator for 10 years, he proudly sponsored bills that led to Pembroke State College becoming a part of the UNC system and the establishment of the N.C. Zoo. In the field of education, MacLean extinguished himself at: UNC Chapel Hill as president and founder of the Medical Foundation of N.C. for 22 years and recipient of the university’s Distinguished Service Award; St. Andrews Presbyterian College as its founding chairman of the board of trustees and the recipient of its honorary doctor of humane letters degree; Davidson’s Board of Visitors; UNC Pembroke’s as a recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and its Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award; and a trustee at Union Theological Seminary. Today, most of these institutions have, in his honor, Hector MacLean scholarships. Out of his passion for history, MacLean dedicated countless hours as: chairman of the Council of the Thirteen Original States, trustee of the U.S. Constitution Council, founding chairman of the Robeson County Historical Drama Association, which produced the outdoor drama “Strike at the Wind,” president of the Presbyterian Historical Foundation, chairman of the N.C. Bicentennial Commission, DAR Medal of Honor recipient, and an early member of the St. Andrews Society of NorthCarolina. Among his many honors were his induction into the N.C. Business Hall of Fame, an award of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and the naming of Interstate 95 through Lumberton as the “Hector MacLean Highway.”