William Isaac “Ike” McClees was born on January 7, 1944 in Tyrrell County North Carolina, and peacefully passed into eternity on January 27, 2019 within his home in Newport News, Virginia.
Ike was the sixth child of Anthony Augusta McClees [March 26, 1906 – July 1, 1971] and Mary Alice McClees (née Respass) [April 10, 1911 – July 3, 1970]. He was raised on a farm in Alligator North Carolina, where he learned the value of hard work along with his four brothers and four sisters. In addition, he learned how to hunt, fish, and repair items. His love of tinkering and problem-solving would serve him well later in life, as it eventually became a large part of his career.
After completing grade school, and working on a separate farm for years, he eventually enlisted into the United States Air Force. He became quite the accomplished electrician while in the Air Force, where his natural gift for solving puzzles was regularly put to use. He would eventually serve in the Air Force for 24 years, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant, and travel across the globe with assignments in locations such as Panama, South Korea, and Egypt.
While stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, he met the love of his life, Carolyn Joyce Clark. The two were married on March 5, 1971 in Norfolk, Virginia. Their union would produce three children: Nakia Jeanelle, Alondo William, and Myron Demarcus.
William Isaac McClees was a warm soul that was quick to laugh and slow to anger. He was a salt of the earth gentleman that found happiness in various knickknacks from his youth, including antique fishing lures ,shotguns, and baseball cards. He was a calming force in a world full of whirlwinds. He loved his family deeply. Like many men of his generation, he kept his emotions to himself, or shared them with a select few individuals. However, as the years accumulated, he became much more vocal about his thoughts, his past experiences, the struggles of his youth, and just how happy he was to love and be loved by those close to him. His words, now more than ever, are worth more than gold to those who are left with these precious memories.
He is survived by his spouse, three children, and their respective spouses Hector Cruz, Zsavonne Perryman, and Courtney McClees (née Smith). He is also survived by his eight grandchildren (Shelby Vicars, Gabriel Cruz, Elijah Johnson, Maya Cruz, Isaiah McClees, Antonio McClees, Chloe McClees, and Phoenix McClees), one great-grandchild (Spencer Holyfield) three siblings (Bessie Mitchell, Ronnie McClees, and Alice Butcher), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws that adored him. He is predeceased by his siblings Cora Elizabeth Pledger (née McClees), Luther Fovactor “Luke” McClees, Anthony Alexander “Pete” McClees, Olva Lee Melton (née McClees), and Joe Nathan McClees.
William Isaac McClees will be laid to rest on on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 11 o’clock a.m. at Alfred J. Horton Memorial Veterans Cemetery. A reception will immediately follow
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