Brown-Wynne Funeral Home

200 Southeast Maynard Road, Cary, NC


James Barney Clary

November 17, 1942July 6, 2019

James Barney Clary passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Raleigh, NC. Jim was born in Gaffney, SC, in 1942 to Basil Hicks Clary, Sr., and Ruth King Clary. Jim cherished the love of his life, Margaret. They met in tenth grade Latin class and were married for nearly 55 years. Besides being passionate about Margaret, Jim supported her gift of hospitality by hosting parties at their home. Together, they shared their love of travel with their six grandchildren, each of whom took a special trip with their grandparents.

Jim earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degrees from Clemson University. He served in the Army in Fort Monmouth, NJ, and was awarded The Army Commendation Medal. After serving his country, Jim was employed by Bell Telephone Laboratories in Greensboro, NC. His Bell Labs team helped fight the cold war by designing and building digital systems to detect submarines. For 23 years, Jim was employed at RTI International, serving as Vice President of Electronics and Systems for the last 10 years of his RTI career. In 1999, he founded Advanced Digital Systems and was President and Board Chair.

Jim loved history. He wrote three Civil War books that traced the lives and military action of every man in three regiments from South Carolina. Other interests included being a private pilot and ham radio operator.

Jim was devoted to First Baptist Church of Raleigh on Salisbury Street and especially to its people. He served as its Chair of Deacons, taught Sunday school and held other leadership and volunteer positions. Jim bravely battled interstitial lung disease for 12 years. His family is very grateful to Duke’s pulmonology team, pulmonary rehabilitation program and fellow rehab program participants for their support and encouragement. The family is also very grateful to Transitions LifeCare for their care over these last 4 months and especially for their attentiveness at the inpatient facility during the last 6 days of his life. Most of all, his family is forever grateful to our husband, Dad and Granddaddy for the opportunities he provided through his hard work, for the values he taught, for his guiding principles and for his amazing love.

Jim’s family members are his wife, Margaret Brown Clary of Cary, NC; sons, Greg Clary (wife Julie) of Cary, NC, and Mark Clary (wife Amy) of Greenville, SC; grandchildren, Mollie, James and John Clary of Cary, NC, and Witt, Joey and Carter Clary of Greenville, SC; brother, Basil Clary, Jr., (deceased) (wife Ann) of Gaffney, SC; sisters, Ruth Sparks (husband Jack) of Holly Springs, NC, and Fran Ross (husband Fulton) of Gaffney, SC; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 10 at 2:00 PM at First Baptist Church of Raleigh, NC, 99 N. Salisbury St., with receiving of friends and family to follow the service. A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 12 at 11:00 AM at Goucher Baptist Church of Gaffney, SC, 415 Goucher Creek Rd., with interment to follow the service. Online condolences can be made at www.BrownWynneCary.com

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Day Mission Fund, First Baptist Church of Raleigh, 99 N. Salisbury St. Raleigh, NC 27603, Transitions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607, or Clary Football Field Initiative, Limestone College, 1115 College Dr., Gaffney, SC 29340.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, July 10, 2019


James Barney Clary

have a memory or condolence to add?

David and Jeanne Smoot

July 11, 2019

Jim was a fine Christian gentleman. He was intelligent, funny and caring. Our family remembers him from our days at the First Baptist Church in Raleigh.
We offer sincere condolences to the whole family and especially to Margaret, Greg and Mark.
David and Jeanne Smoot and Family
Wake Forest, NC

Janet (Hanson) Stewart

July 11, 2019

We were neighbors for some time, when you lived at 2021 Medlin. Margaret and boys, please accept my heartfelt sympathy. Jim was way too young to pass away.


Janet (Hanson) Stewart

Moline & Gautham Pandiyan

July 10, 2019

I’ll never forget how Jim always made us feel special and loved every time he spoke with us. We were honored to be one of his many guests in his and Margaret’s home for company events. And I’ll especially be thankful to how he embraced us and whispered “you and Gautham are like family” during a very difficult time. We are blessed to have known Jim and his loving family.

Noel Tucker

July 9, 2019

Jim always had a smile to share and would ask about others without complaining about his own struggles. He was so interesting to talk to and someone to admire for his love of family and his faith. He will be missed for certain.

Deanna Rogers

July 9, 2019

I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Clary's passing. I have a lot of great memories of your family when we attended First Baptist. Your dad was always so welcoming and friendly. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Deanna Ramey Rogers

Elizabeth Barnes

July 9, 2019

Margaret, Greg and Mark,

Our family was saddened to learn of Jim's passing. We are out of town together and thus unable to attend his memorial service. Nevertheless, we are all remembering him and you during this difficult time.

Jim left an indelible mark in so many areas of his life that he will continue to be remembered by those who were fortunate to have known him.

We send our thoughts, warm memories and love to you all.

Walt, Libby and Family

Elizabeth Dunn

July 9, 2019

Jim was a frequent and beloved researcher in Duke's Rubenstein Library, where I work. He was always cheerful, friendly and appreciative of our assistance with his Civil War research. I will miss him.

Bob Letzeisen

July 9, 2019

When I met Jim for the first time some 17 years ago I noted his hardy handshake, accompanied by a warm and welcoming smile. The last time we crossed paths two or so years ago I noted the same. Good souls have a way about them and with an unmistakable "Irish twinkle" Jim's was loud and clear. RIP friend. Prayers for strength and comfort for the family.

Tracy Clary

July 9, 2019

Unfortunately I only had the privilege of meeting Jim on a couple different occasions. We were distantly related via the CLARYs of Surry county, VA from back in the early 1700s. He presented me with a book he had written on a Confederate Regiment from South Carolina that consisted of a lot of his ancestors and my relatives. I have always cherished that.
Jim came across to me as a very warm, kind and soft spoken man who I have always remembered. He definately made an impression on me and I will forever regret not knowing him a lot better than I did. I am very saddened to hear of his passing. May you rest in peace my friend.... until we meet again.
Tracy Clary, Brunswick County, VA

Glen Swain

July 8, 2019

I've known Jim for over twenty years now, and I always marveled at his knowledge of history. His books were excellent and meticulously researched, and he was always willing to share whatever information he had to help other authors. I looked forward to seeing him at the annual symposium in Columbia every year.

Rest well Jim, thank you for your help and support over the years, your many contributions to South Carolina history, and God be with your family and loved ones. You will be missed my friend.