Back to Claude's LifeWeb


Claude S. Vance Jr. was born April 29, 1924, in Bristol, Tennessee, and died Wednesday, September 25, 2013, in Gray, Tennessee. Claude was the only son of the late Claude S. and Blanche O'Dell Vance. He had resided in Kingsport for 60 years. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Edith Long Vance, on April 10, 2013; his sister, Mildred Vance Secular, on June 18, 2013; son-in-law, Jim Streeter, on July 15, 2013; sister-in-law, Ruth Long; brothers-in-law, Robert Long and wife, Eleanor, and Kenneth Long and wife, Mary Lee; nephew, Bobby Long; his grandparents, William L. and Cornettie Greene Vance and George D. and Lucretia Warren O'Dell. Claude was valedictorian of his 1942 Blountville High School graduating class. In high school he sang with the Civitan Playboys. He joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in December 1942 while a freshman at King College. After attending King College for one year, he entered the V-12 Naval program and began his training at Milligan College, followed by midshipmen officer's training at Northwestern University, where he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He served during World War II on the LST 776, a launch and retrieval ship for spotter planes to observe artillery for Army and Marines in the South Pacific. Following the war, he attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received a bachelor's of science degree in chemical engineering in 1950 and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Tau Beta Tau Honorary Engineering Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Chemical Engineering Fraternity, and served one year as president of Wesley Foundation and served on a mission trip to the Southwest Texas Annual Conference to aid young people in MYF. Claude retired from Eastman Kodak following 36 years of service in the Engineering, CE and Tenite Divisions. He remained in the naval reserve, obtaining the rank of Lieutenant, until 1974, when he resigned from the Navy and joined the Army National Guard, where he became a staff sergeant. He served a total of 41 years in military, retiring in 1983 as a U.S. Army captain. He was a loving son, husband, father and brother. He was an active member of Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years, where he served as deacon and elder and was a member of the chancel choir. He recorded and cataloged the choir's music for many years. He was a member of Antique Automobile Association of America and enjoyed showing his 1954 Buick at antique car shows. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3382, Kingsport, the American Legion Post #3 Tennessee, the Moose Lodge and the Eagles Lodge. Claude and Edith were active in the Pandora Dance Club for many years and enjoyed traveling and attending UT football games. Claude is survived by daughters, Linda Vance Streeter, Woodstock, GA, and Sandra Kay Vance, Johnson City, TN; grandson, Mark Streeter, Savannah, GA; sister, Lucretia (Creta) Vance Gilmer, Bristol, VA; brothers-in-law, Sidney Secular, Silver Spring, MD, Bill Long and wife, Rita, Chillicothe, OH; nieces, Susan Weems and husband, Walter, Sherry Abeson and husband, Tony, Ruth Joy and husband, Jim, Katherine Stewart-Hoffman and husband, Chris, and Anna Long; nephews, George Long and wife, Beverly, Dwight Long and Allen Long; cousins, Thelma Rather Taylor and husband, Henry, Bristol, TN, Reba Rather Ragan, Albuquerque, NM, Marie Rather Maiden and husband, Jim, Bristol, VA, Earlene Rather O'Dell and husband, Ralph, Bristol, TN, George Vance, Bristol, VA, and Albert Vance and wife, Shirley, Bristol, VA; and special friends, R.T. Childress, Howard and Martha Cooper and Bill and Norma Beazell. The family thanks the staff and caregivers at the Visiting Angels, Gray, and Life Care Center of Gray for their compassionate care of Mr. Vance. The family also thanks the staffs and pastors at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN, and Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Johnson City, TN, for their compassionate care of Mr. Vance and family. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, October 5th, at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church with Rev. Tom Phillips officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. A military inurnment service will be held at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church with military rites by the American Legion Posts #3/265. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church Organ Fund, 213 Colonial Heights Road, Kingsport, TN 37663. Please go to to leave an online condolence for the family. Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the family of Claude S. Vance Jr. (423) 378-313