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Died Oct. 8, 2008

Robert Lewis McClain, 71, Raleigh, passed away on Oct. 8, 2008.

A graveside service, with the crematory remains, will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the historical John C. Exum I Family Cemetery located on the Robert and Georgia McClain farm in Wayne County. The Mapquest address is 3217 N.C. Highway 222 E., Stantonsburg, N.C., 27883-9196.

Born in Wake County, he was the son of Eugenia Rowland McClain and the late Douglas F. McClain.

At age 15, Robert graduated from Garner Consolidated Colored High School, Garner, N.C. He attended Fayetteville State University and later received an AAS degree in Electronics Engineering Technology and a diploma in Automotive Technology from Wayne Community College, Goldsboro, N.C.

He was member of Smooth Ashlar Grand Lodge of F. and A.A.Y. Masons, Jurisdiction of Georgia and a board member of the Veterans for Justice, Inc.

After 21 years of service, Robert retired as Master Sgt. E8 from the United States Army. From the U.S. Army, he earned a Bronze Star Medal with V Device (2 OCL), Bronze Star Medal (3d OLC), Army Commendation Medal with V Device (2d OLC), Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Meritorious Service Medal with 1st OLC, 5 O/S Bars, Vietnam Service Medal w/1 Silver SVC Star and 3 Bronze SVC, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal with OLC, VN Cross of Gallantry with silver star; VN Armed Forces Honor Medal 2d Class, VN Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star, Expert Infantryman Badge, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), VN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Good Conduct Medal (7th Awd), Parachute Badge Master Level HVN, and Expert (Rifle), (1).

Robert retired from his second career as a United States Postal Service employee after 18 years of service. During this career, he was appointed postmaster of Tarboro. As postmaster of Chapel Hill, Robert was the first African-American to hold this position since Reconstruction.

In addition to his mother, Robert is survived by his wife, Georgia Exum McClain, of the home; son, Milton McClain (Cynthia) of Wilson; grandchildren, Donisha McClain and Jamisha Raymond (William) of Goldsboro, Milton McClain Jr., of Capital Heights, Md.; four great-grandchildren; two brothers, Sherman McClain (Johnsie) of Willow Springs, Melvin McClain (Bernice), of Raleigh; one sister, Patricia Seawell (Carl) of Raleigh; one aunt, Lucille McClain Smith of Raleigh, as well as many nieces and nephews.

His brother, Wade, preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, 3808 Tarheel Drive, Raleigh, N.C., 27609, 919 875-0707, in the name of Robert Lewis McClain.

Crematory arrangements by Lightner Funeral Home and Crematory in Raleigh. Other arrangements by Lightner Funeral Home in Goldsboro.


Published in Obituaries on November 13, 2008 1:47 PM