John James McClure, Jr.
John James McClure, Jr., died January 16, 2013, at home in Concord, New Hampshire. McClure, who was born in 1915 in Chester, Pennsylvania, was the son of John James McClure and Gertrude Walker Holmes McClure. He grew up in Wallingford and Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He attended Dartmouth College and graduated from Ohio State University. McClure’s beloved wife of 73 years, Ruth Lewis McClure, who predeceased him, also graduated from Ohio State University. The McClure’s lived most of their lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, moving to Concord in 2005 in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
McClure spent his professional life in the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana and as a private investor. In the 1940s, McClure’s initial experience was in the Spindletop Field, near High Island, Texas. During World War II, he worked in supply for Sun Oil Co. in Beaumont, Texas. In the 1950s, he was associated with a crude oil brokerage firm in Houston: C.J. Thibodeaux Co.. In 1955, he moved to New Orleans to join the Ingram Oil & Refining Co. and, later, with the Murphy Oil Corporation, where he was Senior Vice President, Marketing. In 1964, McClure was elected to the Board of Directors of the Murphy Oil Corporation. In retirement, McClure was an investor in western and panhandle Texas. He was also a consultant to Amerada Hess Petroleum Corporation in New Jersey and was associated with Waters, Parkerson & Co. In New Orleans.
McClure was a dedicated cruising sailor and trophy winner at the Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, of which he was a member for 57 years. His victories included the Old Timers Regatta, in which he placed First in 1977. He was sailing his own 30 foot ketch, the “Cameo.” Another high point was crewing for his son aboard “Cameo II” in offshore racing, including the 1987 Marion-Bermuda Race.
He was a lifelong Presbyterian, always finding a Presbyterian church home wherever he lived. He was a devoted and longtime member of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church in New Orleans serving as a Deacon for many years. A memorial service is planned there May 9, 2013, at 2 p.m.
McClure’s three children are Karen Lewis McClure of Estes Park, Colorado, Robert Lewis McClure of Singapore, and Jan Walker McClure of Concord, New Hampshire. His five grandchildren are John Rannells Howell of Monterrey, Mexico, Kristin Howell Blackwell of Meridian, Mississippi, Julia Lehman of Berkeley, California, Emma Lehman of Mountain View, California, and Rebecca Lehman of Concord, NH, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. McClure’s great grandchildren are John James Blackwell and Robert Walker Blackwell, both of Meridian, Mississippi.