Funeral services for Lee McClune, of Knoxville, were held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at the Church of Christ with Pastor Mark Doland officiating. Burial will be on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the Lone Star Cemetery, Rocky, Okla. Musical selections of “How Great Thou Art”, “Lily of the Valley” and “Ten Thousand Angels” were shared. Honorary casket bearers were Benny Hill, Scott Sims, Arvin Peterson, Emmitt Ewing, Harlan Petty, Bill LaHue and Dr. Garo Armoudian.
Lee Franklin McClune was born Aug. 3, 1934, in Keokuk County, Iowa, the son of Robert James McClune and Mary Ellen (Dougherty) McClune.
He was raised in the What Cheer, Iowa, area where he worked on the family farm until entering the United States Air Force at the age of 18. He served four years in the Air Force, and in 1958 he was named Airman of the Year for inventing a tool utilized in repairs.
Following his honorable discharge, Lee worked for the government in Huntsville, Alabama, and co-invented a Mass Spectrometer that was eventually sent to the moon with Astronauts from N.A.S.A.
In November 1960, he was united in marriage to Harriett Cannon, a longtime teacher in the Knoxville School System. Lee later attended Southwestern State University in Weatherford, Okla., earning a degree in Physics. While attending college he worked as a night watchman at the 3M plant in Weatherford. He later set up 3M’s first computer controlled production system at that plant.
In 1974, he was transferred to the newly opened 3M plant in Knoxville, where he was the first person promoted to F4 Technical Level in a production plant, and retired in 2002 at that position. In retirement, Lee invented the Sorganol ™ bio-fuel process and patented equipment for the process. That business is still in operation in Pleasantville.
Lee passed away on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at the West Ridge Nursing & Rehab Center at the age of 78 years.