CLOVER — Former Clover Mayor Jack Franklin Westmoreland, a Clover native who also served stints on the Clover Town Council, Clover school board and York County Council, died Thursday at home. He was 81.
Westmoreland served on the Clover school board from 1967 to 1970, said his daughter, Debbie Meek. He served on the Clover Town Council from 1971 to 1975 and as mayor from 1987 to 1991, according to the town. He also served on the York County Council.
Meek said her father had a passion for politics and local community service. She said it was influenced in part by his father, Douglas Westmoreland, who served as Clover’s mayor for years during the 1930s and 40s.
“I think he had it in his blood,” Meek said. “That’s what he always told us.”
Westmoreland retired in 2006 as director of York County Solid Waste and Recycling. Before that, he operated a three-generation family business, Westmoreland Printers, which was destroyed by fire in 1989.
He began his career working for what was then the Evening Herald in Rock Hill before buying into the printing business that had been operated by his father and his grandfather, Meek said.
“He loved working for the county, but printing was his love as far as a career,” said Meek. “After he retired from the county at 74, he wanted to open a printing business. We say now, he’s up there running God’s print shop.”
Former state Rep. Herb Kirsh, a good friend of Westmoreland, was mayor when Westmoreland was on the Clover council. Kirsh said the two campaigned against each other for the mayor’s post, but “even when we ran against each other, we got along well.”
Kirsh said Westmoreland took his council duties seriously and “kept up with what was going on.” He was an avid Blue Eagle football fan. “He was there every game I went to, and I went to all of them,” Kirsh said.
John Bailey, owner of Clover Auto Parts, was on the council later, when Westmoreland was mayor. Bailey said one of Westmoreland’s concerns was the town’s need for better water.
“He started talks with York and Gastonia,” Bailey said about the move toward purchasing water from another city. The town eventually sealed an agreement to buy water from Gastonia.
“He was a good mayor,” Bailey said. “He influenced a lot of the decisions going on with the town at the time and conducted everything above ground. He took Clover to heart and all that he tried to do for it.”
Meek, who still lives in Clover, said her father was active in Clover Presbyterian Church, where he was a lifelong member. He and wife Betty Ann raised their three children in the church. “He served the church in many ways, as an elder and a deacon and a Sunday school teacher and youth leader,” Meek said.
He started a Wednesday night meal program that still continues, and cooked with the help of other volunteers. “He loved doing things like that. Until the last five or six years, they would do a big senior citizens meal at the church,” she said. “They would have big crowds when they had that day.”
He also enjoyed helping others. When Hurricane Hugo passed through the Carolinas in the fall of 1989, Meek said her mother was out of town and she worried about her father alone at home.
“He promised me he would stay at home,” Meek said. “And lo and behold, he was up at the church helping people get in because we had a mobile home park that had some homes turned over. He and the preacher were fixing cots and getting places ready for people.”
She said her father was a member of the York camp of Gideons International. “He had a strong faith, and he instilled that in all of us,” she said. “He was ready to go at any time, and he knew where he was going when he died.”
He was a charter member of the Clover Jaycees and a longtime member of the Clover Lions Club, Meek said. He also served as a Clover National Guardsman for 15 years.
He and Betty Ann also were active with the Clover YMCA’s Clover Leaf senior citizen travel group. He attended meetings and the couple traveled with the group to the beach, Charleston, Gatlinburg, Tenn., Savannah, Ga., and other places.
“He was always happy,” said Jackie Abernathy, who worked with the YMCA travel group. “He was an inspiration to everybody.”
Memorial service will be 3:00 pm on Sunday April 21, 2013 at the Clover Presbyterian Church, 202 Kings Mountain St, Clover, SC, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Douglass Key and Rev. Dr. George McGill. The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall.
Jack Westmoreland was born March 10, 1932, in Clover, the son of Douglas Alavastroth Westmoreland and Edna Worthington Eaker Westmoreland. He graduated from Clover High School in 1952. He and Betty Ann McGill married on July 4th of that same year and have remained in Clover, where they celebrated their 60th anniversary last July.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Ann McGill Westmoreland; children, Debbie W. Meek (Bobby) of Clover, Frank Westmoreland (Cindy) of Murrells Inlet, SC, and Doug Westmoreland (Georgia) of Clover; grandchildren, Robbie and Kristen Meek of Clover, Jackie and Albert Krashner of Clover, Ryan and Dawn Westmoreland of Murrells Inlet, SC, Scott and Traci Westmoreland, Columbia, SC, Chad and Ginnie Westmoreland of Columbia, SC, Georgeanna Westmoreland and Ellen Westmoreland of Clover; great-grandchildren, Sullivan and Addison Meek and Bricen and Bailee Krashner; sister, Charlotte Barnett of Clover, brother, James D. Westmoreland of Clover, Robert W. and Elsie Westmoreland of Rockhill, Ted and Margaret Westmoreland of Shelby, NC, 14 nieces and 10 nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, brother and sister-in-law, D.A. and Geri Westmoreland; sister and brother in law, Esther and Avery Adkins; sisters-in-law Pratt H. Westmoreland and Willie S. Westmoreland; brothers-in-law James C. Barnett and J. Terry Morrison.
Memorials may be made to the Clover Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 202 Kings Mountain St, Clover, SC 29710.