MADISONVILLE — John D. McClearn, 83, a lifelong resident of Madisonville, died Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Lookout Mountain, Georgia while visiting family. Born Nov. 14, 1937, in Earlington, he was the son of the late Dexter “Deck” and Edith Davenport McClearn.
John grew up in his family home adjacent to McClearn Grocery on East Main Street and was a 1955 graduate of Madisonville High School. After high school, John attended Western Kentucky University, where he was a member of the basketball and track teams. In 1959, he set school records in both the shot put and the discus. That same year, he also set the Ohio Valley Conference record for the discus and was second in the shot put.
John served his community for 39 years in various positions within the Hopkins County Board of Education, retiring as superintendent in 1998. He was a member of the Madisonville Economic Development Corp., Madisonville Lions Club, United Way of Hopkins County, the YMCA board and the Madisonville Chamber of Commerce.
John served 29 years within the U.S. Army Reserve, where he rose to the rank of colonel. His unit was called to active duty for a period in 1961 for the Cuban Missile Crises. It was during this time that his eldest son was born in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
John was raised in the First United Methodist Church of Madisonville and later became a member of the First Baptist Church, where he attended for decades. He enjoyed teaching Sunday school and was a former deacon and church moderator.
He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to many. John loved the people of Hopkins County.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Jean McClearn.
He is survived by Keith (Ashley) of Lookout Mountain, Georgia; Kevin (Nancy) of Owensboro; six grandchildren, Meagan Cooley (Ben), Madison King (Weston), Parker McClearn, Mallory McClearn, Molly Kate McClearn and Jack McClearn; three great-grandchildren, Harrison King, Maggie and Dot Cooley; a sister, Lynn Utley (C.B.) and their daughter, Lisa Miller; and several beloved nieces and nephews and their families.
Services will be 2 p.m. Friday at Barnett-Strother Funeral Home with Dr. Kevin Maples officiating. Burial will follow in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Madisonville. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from noon until the service time Friday. Face coverings are recommended.
Pallbearers are Parker McClearn, Jack McClearn, Ben Cooley, Weston King, Keith Cartwright and David Marks. Honorary pallbearers are Bobby Brown, Bob Florida, Kenneth Lacy, Tom Myers, Ramon Rodgers and Doug Walsh.
Memorial contributions may take the form of donations to the First Baptist Church Madisonville Property Committee. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.