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Kingston city councilman dies

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From STAFF REPORTS

Longtime Kingston City Councilman Kevin McClure has died.

McClure, 46, lost a battle with colon cancer Sunday.

McClure, who had held a city council seat for more than a decade, was a champion of small-business interests.

A tall, burly man, he had his own landscaping business, often hurrying into city council meetings still in his work clothes.

Five years ago, McClure and former city councilman Brant Williams also were the first to call a public meeting after the TVA ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant. Hundreds attended, including top TVA officials.

Good friend Tom McFarland said McClure was so much more than the massive presence people often saw.

“When you saw him, you saw a big man, but if you knew him, you knew the biggest thing about him was his heart,” McFarland said. “I think he ought to be remembered as a great man that loved his family and worked hard for his community.”

McFarland got to know McClure because their sons and daughters were all friends.

“Kevin and I coached (the daughters’) softball team,” McFarland said. “I know he loved his family very much. He was a good man.”

The bold and boisterous councilman was generally jovial at meetings — until his illness.

McClure’s last council meeting a few weeks ago was a day after a chemotherapy treatment.

City officials said he wasn’t himself.

“He was always joking and cutting up until he got sick,” said Kingston City Clerk Eleanor Neal. “He wasn’t bouncing-around Kevin because of the treatment.”

As a city councilman McClure also served as the city’s representative on the Rockwood Electric Utility Board, replacing Councilman Don White.

White said McClure represented the city well.

“During that time he was on the board there was a new substation built at Kingston. They went to the SCADA system the last three or four months. He was involved in that,” White said.

SCADA is a supervisory control and data acquisition system.

McClure’s time in office wasn’t without controversy.

He was charged with drunk driving in May 2012 after he was found passed out in his vehicle in the middle of the road.

A half-bottle of vodka was found in the seat with him.

The case had never come to trial.

McFarland said he didn’t think anyone was surprised by McClure’s death.

“Any time you have cancer in the advanced stages and you’re on that serious a regimen of chemotherapy I think anything is to be expected,” McFarland said.

McClure’s arrangements are being handled by Fraker Funeral Home.