Services to commemorate the life of Deacon Ferman McClure, Sr., will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., eulogist and Rev. Henry E. Morgan, Jr., officiating. Interment will be at Curtis Cemetery in Curtis. Pallbearers will be Eric Crockett, Marcus McClure, Paul Bailey, III., Mark Jackson, Dedric Jones and Barry Jones. Honorable to mention are John Keys, Nate Leeper, Orlander Macon, Phenoid McClure, William Crockett, John Crockett and Henry Bell.
Visitation will be from 1-7 p.m. on Friday, March 25, at Williams Funeral Home and the family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m.
Ferman McClure, Sr., was born on August 3, 1942 in Curtis, Arkansas, a small close-knit community on the outskirts of Arkadelphia. His parents Robert and Clara Macon McClure toiled hard to support their family. The McClure family worshipped for generations at Mt. Friendship Baptist Church, where he accepted Christ at a young age under the pastorate of Rev. Giles. Church and Sunday school were extremely important to Ferman. He later united with Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Arkadelphia and served as a deacon under the pastorate of Dr. Lewis. A Shepherd, Jr.
He was a curious and thoughtful child who distinguished himself early as a lover of mathematics. Aside from church, school had a major impact on his development as a young man. He graduated from Peake High School in 1961, and was drafted into the United States Army in 1962. He served as a medic in Germany. After his tour of duty in the Vietnam War he sought refuge at the historically-black AM&N College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). There, he found distinction as one of the few male students majoring in education. He graduated in 1969 and married the love of his life and college girlfriend, Ellie Crockett on June 15, 1969 at Anderson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Marked Tree, Arkansas. Both students became elementary teachers.
Now married, Ferman and Ellie made their home in Curtis, Arkansas and started a family. While a member of Mt. Friendship Baptist Church, Ferman was ordained a deacon, served as a trustee and as Sunday School Superintendent. He taught for several years, specializing in mathematics in England and Hot Springs before working at Reynolds Metal Company until the late 1980s. He then taught school at Arkadelphia and Malvern until ALCOA reopened the former Reynolds plant. He worked there for several years as a control room operator until he retired. Still epitomizing the definition of a hard worker, he returned to teaching for a year in Saratoga, where he taught second grade. Finally, he worked as a driver for SCAT for 8 years before retiring to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
His 52-year marriage to Ellie was one of constant laughter, adventure, friendship and love, seen in the upbringing of their children, Allen, Ferman, Willica and Dylan. As parents they gave their best, they lived life to the fullest and they encouraged others to do so, to “let loose” from pretense and laugh.
Ferman had a sense of humor most people never imagined. He was the family comedian who loved to tell jokes, and would “roast” anyone. In his spare time, he watched his favorite TV shows “Gunsmoke” and “Walker Texas Ranger”. Everyone knew that he was an avid gardener who created a community garden that was open for family, neighbors and friends. He enjoyed fishing, family over everything, and studying his Sunday School lesson. He helped bring his world of experiences and share his love of teaching and knowledge of mathematics as his grandson’s 3rd grade virtual teacher during the pandemic.
Ferman lived a full life. He was happy and satisfied with all the Lord had done for him. He completed his journey when he passed from this life on Thursday, March 17, 2022. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents; his siblings, Joe McClure, Robert McClure, Olivera Martin, Charles McClure, and James McClure.
His memory lives forever in the hearts of his wife, Ellie McClure; his children, Allen McClure (LaTisha) of Round Rock, TX, Ferman McClure (Kacie) of Curtis, AR, Willica Morgan (Dawan) of Arkadelphia, AR and Dylan McClure, Curtis, AR; his grandchildren, Allen Jr., Cameron, Alexis, Te’Asuja, Noah, Charity, Perry, Emma, Hannah and Chandler; his siblings, Rosie Norman and Mattie Bailey both of Curtis, AR, June McClure of Flint, MI and Willie McClure, Sr., of Flint, MI, as well as, a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
Ferman was a delight to teach with—very well respected by students and his fellow teachers.