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Robert McClanahan

Robert Ray McClanahan

December 26, 1928 - October 17, 2019
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Obituary

Robert Ray McClanahan, “Buddy” as he was known to his family, passed away on October 17, 2019 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was born December 26, 1928 at Pecan Gap, Texas to the late Francis Presley McClanahan and Robert Howard McClanahan.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Howard Presley McClanahan; a sister, Janis McClanahan Bolin; and his wife of 50 years, Gerry Brogoitti McClanahan.

Mr. McClanahan graduated from Mt. Pleasant, Texas High School in 1945 and immediately began his career with the Cotton Belt-Southern Pacific Railroad, where he worked for 43 years. He started as a telegraph operator on May 1, 1945 and retired as Superintendent of the Cotton Belt on July 31, 1988. During his time with the railroad, he progressed from Telegraph Operator to Train Dispatcher, Trainmaster, Terminal Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and ultimately to Superintendent. His career took him from Mt. Pleasant to Texarkana, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; East St. Louis, Illinois; Eugene, Oregon; West Colton, California; and finally Pine Bluff.

He joined the Texas National Guard in 1948 and served for 14 years in the 49th Armored Division. He rose to the rank of Captain through study at the Artillery School at Ft. Sill, OK. He served on active duty during the Berlin Crisis in 1961-62.

After retirement, he continued working in a railroad environment. He became actively involved with the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society and the Arkansas Railroad Museum. While Superintendent, he had been the moving force behind getting the Engine 819 moved from Oakland Park to its current home at the Museum.

Robert and his wife, Gerry, formed McClanahan Transportation Services, Inc. for the purpose of owning and operating passenger cars, as well as consulting services. The company purchased and restored five passenger cars that were used in excursion operations with the 819. The company also ran excursions in northwest Arkansas.

He was active in civic affairs, having served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Pine Bluff and the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society. He also served on the Board of Riley’s Warriors, Inc. of Maumelle, Arkansas. He was appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee to serve as a member of the State Board of Workforce Education and Career Opportunities.

He was very active in his church. As he and his family moved across the country, he never lost sight of his love for the Lord. In most congregations he attended, he became active as a song leader and bible class teacher. Since moving to Pine Bluff in 1974, he was a member of the Hazel Street Church of Christ, where he served as song leader, treasurer, teacher and elder.

Robert is survived by his wife, Betty Hickerson McClanahan; two daughters, Terry Ulvog (Pete) of Longview, Texas, and Cindy Shepherd (John) of Jonesboro, Arkansas; and one son, Robert Howard McClanahan (Michelle) of Maumelle, Arkansas. Also surviving are three step-daughters, Robin Hickerson, Charlotte Hickerson and Scarlet Burroughs, all of Little Rock, Arkansas, and one step-son, Lance Hickerson (Leah) of Cornerstone, Arkansas. There are eight remaining grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be by Ralph Robinson and Son in Pine Bluff. Visitation will be Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 2-4 p.m. at Ralph Robinson and Son and funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, October 21, 2019 at Hazel Street Church of Christ under the direction of Roger Gean and Dr. Mike Hogan. There will be a private graveside service and burial in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

Pallbearers are: sons-in-law John Shepherd and Pete Ulvog; grandsons Lee Shepherd, Luke McClanahan, Matt Pearson and Jeff Pearson; and step-son Lance Hickerson. Honorary Pallbearers are: dear friends Dale Stanton, Mac Mathis, Bill Glover, Vernon Lutrell, Robert Lewis, Jimmy Lee Welch, Sonny Derdenand grandson Robert Riley McClanahan.

Memorials may be made to: Riley’s Warriors, Inc., PO Box 13865, Maumelle, AR 72113; Hazel Street Church of Christ, 4015 Hazel Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71603; or Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 2044, Pine Bluff, AR 71613-2044.

Online register: www.ralphrobinsonandson.com
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, October 20, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    When
    Sunday, October 20, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location
    Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors
    Address
    807 Cherry Street
    PINE BLUFF, AR 71601
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, October 21, 2019 | 10:00am
    When
    Monday, October 21, 2019 10:00am
    Location
    Hazel Street Church of Christ
    Address
    4015 South Hazel Street
    Pine Bluff, AR 71603
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Mt. Pleasant, Texas
    Address
    220 US-67
    Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Buddy & Tracy Hasten and AECC/AECI Information Technology Division have sent flowers to the family of Robert Ray McClanahan.
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Ann Snuggs

Posted at 07:36pm
Cindy, my deepest sympathy. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.
Ann Snuggs
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 03:50pm
Robert and family, we are thinking of you during this difficult time. Warmest condolences from your friends in F&A.
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:16pm
State Representative Mike & Dee Holcomb
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Vivid Recollections was purchased for the family of Robert McClanahan. Send Flowers

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Carol smith

Posted at 01:15pm
Robert was such an example of a Christian is supposed to be. We loved him dearly and cherish the memories of when we were in all together at 40th and Hazel. He and Jerry will never leave our memories and we will have all of you in our prayers as you go through this time. Donnie and Carol Smith Family
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Buddy & Tracy Hasten

Posted at 11:26am
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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