Alan McCrary Johnstone

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Alan McCrary Johnstone, Class of 19321930-1931 and was the last surviving charter member of IPTAY, when he died January 13, 2006. He was a member of Tiger Brotherhood. He is interred in the Johnstone family graveyard in Newberry.


A native of Newberry, South Carolina, he was born at Coateswood, the family home, on October 1, 1910. He was the second Eagle Scout in the county and remained active in BSA.

As a student at Clemson College he served on the honor council, Tiger Brotherhood, and helped start the Clemson golf team. President of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honorary society, he received his degree and military commission in 1932. In 1934 he became a charter member the IPTAY, Clemson's athletic booster club.

Johnstone received a solicitation for the infant IPTAY from his employer, "also a Clemson man. Johnstone begged off, saying that he did not have $10 to spare. The employer 'kindly' said he would pay for Johnstone and simply deduct $1 a month from Johnstone's salary. And so he did. Johnstone kept his membership in IPTAY until he died." (Reference: Reel, Jerome V., The High Seminary, vol. 1: A History of the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, 1889-1964, Clemson University Digital Press at the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9842598-9-2, pages 254-255.)

He married Benetta Dorrity August 18, 1934. She predeceased him October 2, 1980. He married Eva Dorrity Welling March 12, 1982.

1937 to 1977, retiring from there as general manager and chief engineer. In 1937, he started and operated the town's first water treatment plant. He became manager in 1956. During this time he spearheaded successful efforts to bring new industries to the Orangeburg area, stimulating the fading agricultural economy. He served on area development boards for 27 years and helped establish the county technical education college.

During World War II he served with the United State Army Signal Corps, earning a Bronze Star during service in the South Pacific. He retired as a major from the Army Reserves in 1970.

A member of numerous professional organizations, he was honored as "Professional Engineer of the Year" for 1971-1972 by the S.C. Society of Professional Engineers. The American Water Works Association awarded him the Herman Wiederman Award in 1970.

Officer in many civic organizations, he was honored as "Citizen of the Year" and named a Paul Harris Fellow.

A lifelong Presbyterian he served as a deacon, elder, treasurer, and clerk of the session of the First Presbyterian Church of Orangeburg and a commissioner at synod and general assembly.

In 2004 the Clemson golf team made him their honorary captain and later won the national championship. In 2005 he was honored as an Outstanding Clemson Alumnus.

He was preceded in death by his first wife; an infant son; sister Brantly Leavell Johnstone Alexander of Easley, South Carolina; his brothers Thomas Kennerly Johnstone, Jr. (Tommy) of Greenville, South Carolina; and Ellerbe Pelham Johnstone (Bye) of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Survivors are his wife Eva of Orangeburg; daughter Lilla Johnstone Jones and husband T. Dale Jones of Lubbock, Texas; son, Alan Johnstone of Orangeburg; stepdaughters Eve Welling Brown and husband Bobby of Charleston; Patricia Welling Stanley of Dallas, Texas; sisters Lilla Johnstone Breazeale of Laurinburg, North Carolina; and Jeanne Pelham Johnstone Hancock of Easley; and 4 grandchildren, including Angela Pelham Simek of Dallas and Travis Alan Jones of Lubbock.

The Alan McCrary Johnstone Scholarship, for South Carolina residents who are undergraduate juniors and seniors attending Clemson University full-time, majoring in Electrical Engineering, is named for him.