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1939 Mary 2023

Mary Blalock McClurkin

September 25, 1939 — September 28, 2023

On Thursday Sept 28, 2023, three days after her 84th birthday, Mary Blalock
McClurkin passed away in Spartanburg, SC.

Mary was born in Beaumont, Texas. Her family moved to Houston soon after
and was surrounded by a large extended family. She was very close to her only brother,
Johnny, as well as many cousins who grew up on her street. When she was a teenager
her family moved to Lake Charles, LA, where she graduated from LaGrange High
School. She then attended McNeese State University where she studied secretarial

Mary met her to-be husband, Joe McClurkin, in Beaumont, TX. One of the reasons she
fell in love with him, she said, was his big family, which included 5 siblings. She loved
joining the McClurkin crew for dinner as they laughed together at Joe’s younger siblings’
recitations of TV commercials. Joe and Mary lived in TX and FL before they settled in
SC, where they raised three daughters. There Mary made life-long friends and enjoyed
a long and successful career in the transportation industry.

Mary’s career was cut short, however, by an unfortunate turn of fate which left her with
an incomplete spinal cord injury and resultant quadriparesis. After a long stay in a
rehabilitation hospital and countless hours of physical therapy, she was able to walk and
care for herself again. The impact of this event colored the remainder of Mary’s life. She
suffered numerous medical complications over the past 20 + years. But Mary took the
good with the bad and sought out the silver lining. She joked about always having a
front row parking space with her newly acquired “disabled” status. Her husband Joe,
and daughter, Chanin, a nurse practitioner, were her advocates and caregivers until her
final day. Their devotion to her care cannot be overstated.

Mary took great joy in planning parties with neighbors and friends, which were filled with
fun, laughter, and great music. She loved dancing. After her two granddaughters were
born, she planned yearly family gatherings to maximize her time with them. These
gatherings were often held in Maine and included her daughter Shea’s husband, his
parents, and sister and her family. The two senior couples became close friends over
the many years of visits together. The trips have resulted in lifetime family memories
and tales, not the least her “Forced Family Fun” commemorative t-shirts.

Survived by Mary is her loving husband, Joe, currently of Spartanburg, SC; her
youngest daughter, Casey McClurkin, of South Portland ME; her daughter Shea Melnick
and granddaughters Sasha and Talia Melnick, also of South Portland, ME; and eldest
daughter, Chanin McClurkin, of Austin, TX. Also surviving is her brother, John Blalock,
of Northglenn, CO. Predeceasing her are her parents, Mary Chambers Howard of
Spartanburg, SC and O.M. Blalock of Spartanburg, SC.

Mary was known for her quick wit, connecting easily with others, love of children, and
her fierce bravery. Mary will be remembered most for her devotion to her family. She
expressed deep gratitude for her husband, Joe, who stood by her side through it all.

The family is grateful for donations in Mary’s name to Hope Village in
Meridian, MS where she volunteered for many years, or to Foster Village in Houston.

This obituary is protected by the Cremation Society of SC-Westville Funerals, “Project Safe Obituary Program” which has been designed to guard against the unauthorized reproduction or redistribution, in whole or in part, without the express written consent of the funeral home. The Cremation Society of SC-Westville Funerals, “Project Safe Obituary Program” has been established to help the funeral home and the families we serve protect the dignity and respect for the deceased and the Integrity of Funeral Service against any third-party commercialization. The use of this written work is strictly prohibited, whether that be through illegal means of electronically or manually scraping this obituary for monetary or non-monitory gain, from any site where this obituary is posted. Our goal is to stop the gathering of well-intended words of condolences and support on these third-party sites that will never make it to their intended audience at a time when families can use them the most. As with all written works, this obituary is protected under copyright laws, and any infringements will be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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