Hector MacLean, of Lumberton, died peacefully at his home on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 2012.
He was born on Sept. 15, 1920, a son of the late Governor Angus Wilton McLean and Margaret French McLean.
He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Lyl Warwick MacLean.
MacLean was also a brother to the late Margaret McLean Shepherd and Angus Wilton McLean Jr.
He is survived by his only child, Lyl MacLean Clinard and her husband Aaron of High Point; grandchildren Lyl MacLean Clinard Kluttz and her husband Bill of Newport, R.I., and Aaron Neal Clinard Jr. and his wife Betsey of High Point; three grandsons of whom he was very proud, Aaron Neal Clinard III, William Clarence Klutt IV and Rudduck Mendenhall Clinard. He is also survived by his nephew John Calvin Shepherd of Greenville, S.C.; two nieces, Lee Shepherd Gurtin of Berwyn, Pennsylvania and Martha Godwin Shepherd of Decatur, Ga.; and several grandnephews and nieces.
During his 92 years, MacLean proudly and unselfishly lived a life of service to many. 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 N.C., and his Nation. As a graduate of Davidson College 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 General 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 the 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 its President, the National Bank of Lumberton, an institution founded by his father in 1897. This was the beginning of a long history of success in the banking industry, continuing until his retirement while serving as President and later CEO from 1955 – 1990. 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 a State Senator in the N.C. Legislator. While as 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 North Carolina Zoo.
In the field of education, MacLean distinguished himself at: UNC-CH as President and Founder of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina 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 College’s Board of Visitors; UNC-Pembroke’s 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 North Carolina Bicentennial Commission, DAR Medal of Honor recipient, and an early member of the St. Andrews Society of North Carolina.
Among his many honors were his induction into the North Carolina 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”.
The family wishes to recognize these special caregivers, who for many years devoted their time, energy and love like family to MacLean, Jennifer McLean, Lillie Galloway, Carl Baxter, Jackie Perry and Mary Washington.
The funeral will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton. Interment will follow in Meadowbrook Cemetery immediately after the service.
The visitation for friends and family will be 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the home 2101 N. Elm St., Lumberton.
The family has requested that any gifts or memorials be directed to either First Presbyterian Church, Lumberton, N.C. Museum of History Foundation or St. Andrews College, Laurinburg, N.C.