Cover photo for William Thomas Clowney's Obituary
William Thomas Clowney Profile Photo

William Thomas Clowney

April 19, 1933 — February 10, 2024

Isle of Palms

William Thomas Clowney

Bill was born on April 19, 1933 in Asheville, N.C., to the late Samuel Thomas Clowney and Minnie Alice Czarnitzki Clowney. He was raised in Charleston, a city that he adored, and was baptized and confirmed at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church. Bill graduated from Rivers High School where he was Senior Class President. He attended Newberry College his freshman year of college and graduated from the College of Charleston in 1959, where he was a proud alumni, eventually serving as president of the College of Charleston Alumni Association. He was also a veteran of the US Navy.

While attending Newberry College he met the love of his life, Mary Evelyn Brown in the college gymnasium during a basketball game. It was love at first sight, and Bill and Mary were married soon thereafter in her hometown of Belton, SC on April 4, 1953. They were blessed with three children, Melody, Candi, and Beau.
Bill began his career with the Dictaphone Corporation while residing in Greenville, SC, Glenview, IL and Overland Park, KS. He returned to SC with his family, settling in Columbia and embarking on a long and successful career as a franchise owner of Management Recruiters (MRI), Sales Consultants and Dot, Inc. in Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte and Greenville. 

Together, Bill and Mary traveled the globe making life-long friends wherever they landed, and spent decades importing antiques, primarily from England, for Mary’s successful antiques and interiors business located on Gervais Street, in downtown Columbia, SC. Travel and service through leadership was a lifelong passion for Bill, as was his devotion to Rotary International, where he served as Past President of The Rotary Club of Columbia and also served District 7770 as former District Governor. He received numerous Rotarian awards to include being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. 

Bill was a life-long Lutheran, most recently a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, SC and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Isle of Palms, SC.

He was the ultimate family man, a devoted husband to Mary, a loving father, doting grandfather, and loyal friend. He took great delight in time spent with his family and he especially loved spending time at his beach house on the Isle of Palms near Charleston.

Bill was predeceased by his daughter, Candice C. Hawkins (Mike); He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Mary Brown Clowney; his children, Melody Whitworth (Bobby); William “Beau” Thomas Clowney, Jr. (Teresa); his beloved grandchildren, Michael Mills Hawkins, Jr.; William Alexander “Zann” Hawkins (Sarah); Tyler Jordon Hawkins; Zoe Elizabeth Clowney;  William Thomas Claxton Clowney; 6 great grandchildren; a sister Ann C. Kleckley of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and numerous nieces and nephews. 

The family wishes to thank the staff at Kempton of Charleston for his care over the last two years. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 3rd at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1715 Bull Street, Columbia, SC. The family will receive visitors starting at 2pm in the Good Shepherd Room (entrance on Bull St). A memorial service will follow at 3pm in the church sanctuary (entrance on Blanding Street). 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in his honor to The Rotary Club of Columbia, P.O. Box 1763, Columbia, SC 29202, or St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 300 Palm Blvd, #2145, Isle of Palms, SC 29451, or St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1715 Bull St, Columbia, SC 2920. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Thomas Clowney, please visit our flower store.


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