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Dr. Lawrence F. McNamee

Greenville Herald Banner
July 19, 2006

COMMERCE — Dr. Lawrence F. McNamee, 89, of Commerce died July 17, 2006. A graveside service is scheduled at 10 a.m. today at Rosemound Cemetery in Commerce under the direction of Jones-Walker & Son Funeral Home. The son of John and Annie Brennan McNamee, he was born March 14, 1917, in Rochester, Pa. He was a staff sergeant during World War II serving as an interpreter for the U.S. in Germany. During a 37-year teaching career (1950-1987) in the Department of Literature and Language at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. McNamee taught word building, Shakespeare, English literature and German. He received the Distinguished Faculty Teaching award from the Faculty Senate. He was a pioneer in the use of computers for compiling bibliogaphics and prepared with IBM punch cards and computers the first comprehensive listing of dissertations on American and English literature. Every university library in the world offering a Ph.D. program has a copy of his book “Dissertations in American and English Literature.” For a number of years Dr. McNamee and journalist Kent Biffle wrote a weekly column “A Few Words” for the Dallas Morning News on grammar, word usage and meanings. In 1988 a collection of some of these columns appeared in a book, “A Few Words.” He also wrote extensively on professional boxing for newspapers and boxing magazines, interviewing individuals such as heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Max Schmeling and boxing promoters Don King and Bob Arum. He served as a consultant for a British TV documentary about Max Schmeling. A published scholar on Shakespeare, Dr. McNamee and a group of literature and drama students from A&M-Commerce performed scenes from Shakespeare at state and federal prisons in Texas. A talented amateur violinist he performed with several semi professional groups and for the faculty follies in the 1950s. In 2005, the Commerce Library and Chamber of Commerce inducted Dr. McNamee into the Author’s Park for his extensive contributions to literature and scholarships. Dr. McNamee was friend and mentor to many in the media and entertainment industry. He was named Distingished Professor in 1974 at ETSU and was named a Federal Corrections Institute Volunteer. He enjoyed organic gardening. Surviving are a son, John McNamee of Miami Beach, Fla.; a daughter, Elizabeth McNamee of Commerce; granddaughter Megan McNamee of Commerce; and a sister, Marie Mollers of Brunswick, Ga. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Mary McNamee; sister Ann Sousa; and a brother, Jack McNamee. Pallbearers are Hector Arce, Randy Wallace, Jim Cimirolli, C.J. Duffy, Gene Wilson and Wendell Hawkins.

Submitted by Elaine Nall Bay

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