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Shelton Ward McNair Sr.

February 21, 1927 April 6, 2024
Shelton Ward McNair Sr.
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Obituary for Shelton Ward McNair Sr.

Shelton Ward McNair Sr., took his final lap and departed to his heavenly home, Saturday April 6, 2024.

Shelton Ward McNair Sr. was born in Washington County on February 21,1927 to the late Ward McNair and Beulah Harris McNair.  He was raised in Plymouth and graduated from Plymouth High School, where he played football and was awarded All State Drummer in senior high school.

He made Plymouth his home where he met and married the late Rena Victoria Sawyer, the mother of his children.

Mr. McNair is survived by two sisters, Beulah Cratch Koulouris and husband Dean of Falls Church, VA, and Mary Louise Cratch Gray of Wilson, NC.  He is also survived by his son, Shelton Ward McNair Jr. and wife April of Plymouth, NC; his daughter, June Victoria McNair of Greenville, NC; two grandchildren, Caleb Ward McNair of Lubbock, TX and Justine Rose McNair of Durham, NC and one great granddaughter, Charlotte Leah McNair of Lubbock, TX.

In addition to his parents, Mr. McNair was preceded in death by his step father Cleveland Cratch and  brother Lloyd Graham McNair.

Mr. McNair was a World War II veteran and sat in on the War Crime Trials in Nuremburg, Germany.  He also served as a Plymouth Town Councilman for nearly 20 years.  He was the oldest living member at First Christian Church in Plymouth, where he served as a deacon in prior years.  His civic involvement included the Lions Club and American Legion.

Mr. McNair worked at Weyerhaeuser for 13 years before running and managing the Gulf Station, downtown Plymouth.  In 1969 he became the owner of McNair Oil Company/Phillips 66.  This is where his trust in people and being of the generation where your word and a handshake were golden, he was able to build his business on the corner of Hwy 64 and Hwy 32.  He truly believed that integrity and your reputation were foundational in business.  He mentored and shared his work ethic with many a young man that worked at the station.  He took great pride when McNair Oil Company was recognized as "Small Business of the Year" in 2009 and also when he was given the Red Cross award for donating over 100 pints of blood.

Mr. McNair, also known as Big Mac had a love for cars and racing.  He is a legend and a part of NASCAR history.  He started out drag racing where he set the flying mile record at Daytona Beach "on" the beach in 1957.  He migrated to oval track racing competing at the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 with the like of Wendel Scott, Fireball Roberts and Lee Petty.

Big Mac was a true community servant and put his faith into action over a lifetime of helping others.

The family would like to thank Brenda Phelps and Celia Seargant who took such great care of Big Mac.

His celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 13, 2024 at First Christian Church in Plymouth at 2:00 p.m. with visitation immediately following in the fellowship hall.

Memorial contributions can be made to First Christian Church, PO Box 97, Plymouth, NC  27962 or The American Legion, Post 164, PO Box 134, Plymouth, NC  27962.  

Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Plymouth.

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