Mr. Edward Watson “Buck” Clary, Sr., 75 of Easley, SC, formerly of St. Marys, GA, passed away on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at the Richard Campbell Veterans Home in Belton, SC.
Mr. Clary was born October 6, 1945, in Atlanta, GA, the only child of the late Capt. Forrest Thurston Clary and Marian Seals Rogers Howell. He was raised in Thomson, GA by his mother and stepfather, paternal great-grandmother and extended family. His father, Capt. Forrest Thurston Clary, was declared missing when the U.S. Marine Corps plane he was piloting, crashed in the Pacific Ocean when his son “Buckshot” was 18 months old. Buck attended the Georgia Military Academy and graduated in 1963 from Izmir American High School in Izmir, Turkey. He graduated in 1971 from West Georgia College with a degree in European History and in 1977 from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta.
In 1964 while in college, he entered the United States Marine Corps Reserves, later enlisting full-time active duty in the United States Army. Sergeant Clary honorably served his country during the Vietnam War as a code breaker for the United States Army Security Agency (later the National Security Agency). He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He suffered silently, due to his service to the country he loved, causing him to be classified as disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Clary began his career as a history teacher at Briarwood Academy in Warrenton, GA. He later decided to follow his passion and in the footsteps of several of his family members by attending law school. Upon graduation, he practiced law in Georgia before moving to Nuremberg, Germany to practice civilian law for U.S. military servicemembers. After leaving Germany in 1987, he returned to Georgia, eventually settling in St. Marys, GA. Buck had a passion for criminal law, especially for those he felt did not have a strong voice. Upon his retirement in 2015 from the daily practice of law, he served as a Magistrate Judge in Camden County, GA.
Active in many civic and political organizations at the state and local level, he was a member of the State Bar of Georgia and a former member of the Lawyers Club in Atlanta. He was a past president of the Kings Bay Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was past Chairman of the Camden County Republican Party.
He was a world traveler having visited and lived in many countries including Belize, Guatemala, Egypt, Israel, Paraguay, Japan, Turkey, Jordan, Iceland, Granada and all of Europe. Buck spent a great deal of time in Copan Ruinas, Honduras where he had many wonderful friends. His passion in life was reading and frequenting Once Upon A Bookseller in St. Marys.
Buck was the official orator of the Watson family in Thomson. He was proud of his family and its impact on U.S. History, Georgia History and Thomson History. Some of his favorite times were attending the Watson/Wilson reunions. He made it his mission to collect and pass stories about the family to the next generation. Ever the eloquent speaker, he was always the first called upon to speak at a family event. He was a kindred spirit with his cousin and close friend, the late Tom Watson Brown of Atlanta and Thomson.
As a lifelong Episcopalian, he was a member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Thomson, where he previously served as Senior Warden.
Surviving to remember his legacy are his children, Edward W. “Ted” Clary Jr. and Ashley V. Durham (Lucas); grandchildren, Watson R. Durham, Henry B. Durham, Kaley R. Clary, Evie P. Bray, and Edward W. “Hutch” Clary III; stepbrothers, Brad M. Howell (Allison), Ben O. Howell Jr. (Cecelia) and Daniel B. Howell (Stacy); stepsisters, Nancy A. Howell and Susan Schubert; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends. He was predeceased by his parents and stepfathers, Col. Warren F. Schubert and Ben O. Howell Sr. He was previously married to Marsha McCoy Gaston and the late Sue Hutchinson Clary.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, August 14 at Watson Hollow at Ginger Hill Farm, 2435 White Oak Rd., Thomson, GA.
The family will receive friends directly following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Holy Cross Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 211, Thomson, GA 30824; Disabled American Veterans or Veterans Last Patrol, 140B Venture Blvd., Spartanburg, SC 29306.
The family would like to thank Mr. Kevin Kay, Mrs. Laura Spearman, The Willows of Easley, Heartland West, and Richard Campbell Veterans Home for their devoted service to Mr. Clary over the years.
The family will be at the home of Lucas and Ashley Durham, 204 Augusta St., Easley, SC 29640 and their respective homes.
Visit RobinsonFuneralHomes.com or Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory-Downtown, Easley.
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