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October 23, 2020

Obituary

Robert Spec McClendon, II

September 13, 1955 - October 17, 2020

Robert Spec McClendon, II, departed this life, no doubt fully prepared for the expedition one can only embark upon after having lived this life to the fullest. His first journey commenced in the 13th day of September, 1955 when he was born to the late Robert Spec McClendon, Sr. and Agnes Anderson McClendon. Spec, as he was known by all, was a lifelong resident of Amite, Louisiana. 

Though he was an avid traveler, having recounted his many intercontinental voyages time and again, he always returned to the place he called home, Amite. While his travels were always temporary, one trip in particular would change the course of his life forever. During a semester abroad in Paris, France he would go about his usual daily activities and eat in the cafeteria of the university which he was visiting. As was his custom, he would gather whatever he chose to eat, set his tray down on a table and return after collecting a drink. One fateful day however, he would return to find a disheveled, petite, but strikingly attractive young woman had casually moved his food and stolen the seat which he selected. This would prove to be one of the few events in his life which would not afford him sufficient time to deliberate, contemplate, and plan for. As it were, that disheveled but beautiful young woman was Carmen Maria Hays, now McClendon, and from that seat stealing incident in Paris, France the two would unknowingly embark upon a whirlwind romance and marriage spanning 35 years and which even death has proven unable to stop. Spec married the thief of both his seat and his heart and they returned to Amite where together they would raise their family. Not long after their marriage Carmen would give birth to their first child, Amy. Only two years later their second child, Camy, was born. As fate would have it, Spec and Carmen would be asked to answer a call which again would come from one of those unforeseen events which afford neither the opportunity to deliberate or to plan for. With the death of his sister, Ann Carroll, appearing imminent, Spec made a promise that he would care for her only child. And so it was, as he always seemed to do, Spec answered the call and took Cory, his son, under his wing. Only three years later Spec and Carmen would add a third, and final child, Jessica. As the leader of the family he made sure to instill high moral standards for his children. He would often recite his credo, first God, second family, third education, then everything else. He also made sure that his children understood the value of preparation, as he was not one to engage in a “discussion” (some might refer to those as arguments) without ensuring that he was right, his calculated approach to every situation in life is a trait which he passed to each of his children. Though his beliefs were rigid, his expectations high, his self-discipline uncanny and his desire to strive for perfection seemingly unmatched, Spec was truly a romantic, forgiving, and humble man. His daily routine began every morning with preparing breakfast and coffee for the love of his life and would be followed by ensuring that she had whatever it might be that she needed to face the day in front of her. On the other hand he would conclude every day by turning off the news and turning on whatever show she might want to watch before rubbing or scratching her back for the duration of that program. Though he spent much of his time reading and becoming acquainted with a myriad of topics, he always found time for his children and later, his Grandchildren. Whether it was playing cards, letting them sleep on his relatively plump stomach or talking on FaceTime, Papa, or Grandad, was adored by each of his six grandchildren. Aside from being an unrepentant family man, Spec was a true friend, the best a person could ask for. Unsurprisingly, he was never afraid to speak his mind and would give the most honest of opinions when called upon to do so, and sometimes even when he wasn’t. His candor and seemingly endless bank of knowledge was a quality many came to know him for. With age, as with many things, his traveling spirit would slow ever so slightly but his desire to interact with and help his fellow man would only grow. 

Spec was actively involved in the Catholic Church often attending seven masses a week. He was committed to assisting those less fortunate and can be credited with establishing the first soup kitchen operation at St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite. He routinely collected truckloads of food which he would deliver to multiple families each week. He was also an active member of the Board of Women’s Life Ministries, a cause that was near and dear to his heart. Ultimately, Spec leaves a legacy upon which we can all reflect and truly applaud as his was clearly a life where he put God first and prioritized his commitment to his family. Surely his physical presence will be sorely missed and his absence impossible to ignore, but his guidance and influence will linger on in those that knew and loved him for generations. 

He is preceded in death by his Father, Robert Spec McClendon, Sr., mother, Agnes McClendon, Sister, Ann Carroll, brother, Eric, and his beloved daughter Amy. 

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Carmen, sister Elizabeth and husband Clay, son Cory and wife Rachel, daughter Camy and husband Zac, daughter Jessica, and six Grandchildren, Ace, Reese, Hays, Phillip, Kat, and Reid along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

There will be a private Mass at the St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite, Louisiana due to COVID-19 restrictions beginning with the praying of the Rosary at 11:00 a.m. followed by a Mass at 12:00 p.m. A graveside service, which will be open to the public, will be conducted following the Mass at the Arcola-Roseland Cemetery in Roseland, Louisiana. In addition, Masses will be conducted on Tuesday the 27th, Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th at 6:00 p.m. at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in his memory and the public is invited to attend each of those Masses to pay their respects. 

McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, in charge of arrangements. 

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