LULA – A pioneer in rural public safety was remembered in a private graveside service Saturday followed by a drive-by apparatus procession.
Lydia Melissa “Lisa” McClure, 84, of Maysville died Wednesday, Sept. 9, following a brief illness.
McClure began work for Banks County in 1975 as an emergency medical technician. In 1976, she was appointed director of the Banks County Ambulance Service (later Banks County Emergency Medical Services), where she served for 22 years.
In 1998, McClure was tasked with starting Banks County E-9-1-1 and held the job as director from that time until she retired in 2001.
She also served as director of Banks County Civil Defense (later Banks County Emergency Management Agency) from 1976-2001.
That was at a time when there were few female public safety directors in rural Georgia and essentially none over multiple departments, McClure’s peers said.
“She saw something in me that I, to this day, don’t understand,” said Banks County 9-1-1/EMA Director Deidra Moore. “I owe her so much for where my life is today. God put her in my life, and she was and is an angel to me. For me, she was one of those few we each have in life that supports you no matter what and loves you with all their heart.
“Ms. Lisa was a mentor to me, a fighter for me, a hero to me and many and in all aspects of the word, but most of all she was my friend,” Moore said. “She was a bright spot in my heart and that spot in my heart is shadowed with the loss of her presence in this world but it will remain bright with memories and the promise of seeing her again one day. Until then, I can hear that laugh and I know she will continue to be in my corner along with all of Banks County and all of public safety. She will simply never be forgotten.”
After retirement, McClure remained a very active member of the community in a variety of capacities, including Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Lula, the boards of Peace Place, the Banks County Chamber of Commerce/CVB and Banks County Literacy Council.
Additionally, she served as a member of Banks County Rotary Club, on the nominating committee for JEMC, and as treasurer of Banks County AARP Chapter 3276.
“There are no words to describe the loss Banks County suffered over the passing of Lisa McClure,” said friend and co-worker Leslie George. “She truly was the heart of Banks County. She dedicated her life to God and the county. She worked daily to make the county the best it could be, be it through 911/EMS, the historical society, chamber of commerce, Rotary or just taking a new employee, who was new to the county and working to find her way, under her wing and mentoring her for 31 years.”
George said despite her appearance, McClure had a commanding presence.
“She was so little and so cute, but had a spine of iron,” George said. “I cannot begin to tell you how much she helped and then mentored me.”