An honorary procession of public safety vehicles passed by Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Saturday morning following a private family funeral service for Lydia “Lisa” McClure, who established the Banks County E-911 Department and served the county through community service for 50 years.
No public service was held but when asked about “Ms. Lisa,” as she was known by to people across the county, Deidra Moore, Banks County’s current E-911 director, shared her thoughts.
“To be of such small stature, she was a giant in heart, spirit and knowledge,” Moore said. “And, let me tell you, you probably will never find someone that loved Banks County more than she. The same can be said for her love of EMA, EMS and E-911! I remember her stories of how she begged and fought for one of our first ambulances and how she unfolded 911 with Doug O'Neal's aid in 2004. Story upon story as she would take me out to teach me addressing, emergency management (EMA) and all the behind the scenes of E-911. Some funny, some sad but all told with love because that is what drove her to do all she did. We would talk throughout the years about calls, progress, political influences impacting emergency services, needs both locally and statewide and so many other things both personal and professional. The number of professional lives and entities she touched span across the State of Georgia! This was evidenced in small part by those that came to the procession to pay respect. I still find it difficult to come up with the correct words that will reflect how much I loved Ms. Lisa and all that she did for me. Professionally, Ms. Lisa was my mentor and one of the greatest ever. ”
Moore began work with Banks County emergency services in 1999 and said Ms. Lisa welcomed her to the team.
“She welcomed me as if I was already one of her own,” she said. “That was just who she was and how she was. She taught me so many things from that point until she retired in 2001 and she continued to teach me long after she retired. I was humbled and honored when she recommended me for my position as she retired. I will forever work to serve and I will do that taking with me all that she taught me and the biggest piece being that God will always lead the way and we will always work with servant hearts for the best of Banks County at EMA/E911! She was a mentor, a friend and my extended family. We all have very few in this life that we can count on to have our back no matter what and she was one of those for me. The number of personal lives, besides my own, that she touched is too many to count. We have truly all lost a dear friend. Just ask someone in the community. Almost all has a happy story of Ms. Lisa.”
Moore added, “It’s hard to lose someone that cared for us all so much. I know the urge to speak with her will come into my mind on many days as we move forward. She never stopped checking in on me, if she thought that I was in need of something or if I just needed encouragement she would reach out to me, just like she did every other person and entity that she cared for. And, if I could talk with her today, I would thank her for all of her confidence in me and I would thank her even more for all she has done for Banks County and the entire State of Georgia through her selfless and servant heart. Think about it...Banks County EMS, Banks County E-911 and Banks County EMA! Not to mention all the volunteer organizations she helped along the way. A giant in heart that was determined to make Banks County a better place for all and to help as many people as she could along the way but never expecting anything in return...a fierce and compassionate fighter for the cause of anything Banks County while also a humble and inspiring hero that loved unconditionally and completely....THAT was who Ms. Lisa was.”
Mrs. McClure’s community service included the Banks County Chamber of Commerce CVB where she volunteered many hours and was a familiar face at events held by the organization.
“My heart is broken, and I am going to miss her so much,” said Alicia Andrews, executive director of the Banks County Chamber of Commerce CVB. “She was one of the most loving, caring, compassionate and giving ladies I have been blessed to call my dear friend. I can’t imagine my life without her in it. Banks County was a better place because of her and all of the things she did, in every way she served and cared about the people and this community!! She was a devoted Christian, mother, public servant, and a dear friend to so many. I was so blessed to have her all these years in my life!”
She was also a member of the Banks County Rotary Club. Former president Mark Valentine stated, "Miss Lisa was our Rotary Mom! Through her love, energy and passion she helped to create a family environment within our club. She cared so darn much about Banks County and her actions always backed up her words. Her wisdom and experience about all things Banks County always amazed me! She was like a little ball of fire! When she set her mind toward a task or a project, you best not get in her way because she knew how to get things done with intense determination! While it won't be the same without her, we are all enriched by the gifts her life has given each of us."
Mrs. McClure, age 84, of Maysville, died Sept. 9, 2020, at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, after a brief illness.
Mrs. McClure served under the Banks County Board of Commissioners for 25 years. She was employed in 1975 as an Emergency Medical Technician. In 1976, she was appointed director of the Banks County Ambulance Service and served for 22 years. She also served as the director of Banks County Emergency Management from 1976 – 2001. In 1998, she was directed to establish the Banks County E-911. She retired from E-911 in 2001.
After retirement, she continued a career in volunteer work. She served on several boards, including Peace Place, Banks County Chamber of Commerce/CVB and the Banks County Literacy Council.
Mrs. McClure also served as the treasurer of the Banks County AARP Chapter 3276, as a member of the Banks County Rotary Club, on the nominating committee for JEMC and participated in the Meals-On-Wheels program.
Mrs. McClure served as a translator at the Dialysis Center. She also served on various organizations and volunteered with numerous activities throughout her life. She was also involved with her church, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Lula.