In Memoriam: Dr. Clayton McNearney

Dr.  Clayton L. McNearney, who retired last year after serving Marshall as a long time faculty member and chair of the Department of Religious Studies, died Jan. 4.  He had retired just a year ago after serving for many years as a faculty member and chair of the Religious Studies department.

“The COLA family is saddened by the news that Dr. Clay McNearney passed away on Jan. 4,” said Dr. Robert Bookwalter, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “He was an inspiration to his students and a well-known figure on campus. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Clay’s family and friends.”

Born in Minneapolis, McNearney attended Minneapolis public schools, then spent a year and a half at Maryknoll Seminary in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After receiving a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota  and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, he went on to be a  postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York from 1976 to 1977.  He taught at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, before joining the Marshall faculty in 1972, where he served as chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 1989 to 2013.   For many years he studied printmaking with Peter Massing of the art department.

A celebration of his life will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10, at St. John’s Episcopal Fellowship Hall, in Huntington. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of Huntington, P.O. Box 464, Huntington, WV 25709.  Condolences to the family may be expressed at