Do you want to be an engineer or a mechanic? The Foundation has a scholarship for you – Davie County Enterprise Record
Do you want to be an engineer or a mechanic? The Foundation has a scholarship for you
Posted 12:57 PM on Sunday, September 4, 2022
This is the 10th in a series highlighting the people and organizations behind the Named Scholarships administered by the Davie Community Foundation.
“We believe that young people need to know something about the people whose scholarships are named after. Hopefully they will feel even more motivated to succeed,” said Jane Simpson, president and CEO of the foundation.
Rosa and James Clyde Cook Sr. Memorial Scholarship
Carolyn Cornelius, one of Mr. and Mrs. Cook’s daughters, and her husband Robert, established the Scholarship Fund in Memory of her Parents to help other children pursue their dreams of becoming mechanics. Additional training is required as computer skills are now required to work on vehicles.
Robert and Carolyn are both deceased, but their support of young people on behalf of his parents lives on through the scholarship.
Robert Cornelius joined the army shortly after his marriage to Carolyn. He served two years as a deputy in Fort Myers, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. After his military service, he returned to Davie County and went to work for RJ Reynolds Tobacco as a laboratory technician. He is a former member of the Smith Grove Fire Department, where he was Deputy Fire Chief when the service began.
He had a love for vintage and classic cars; he owned three at a time. He was a NASCAR fan and enjoyed hunting and working in his garden and yard.
Carolyn worked for Sara Lee’s Hanes Knitwear division for 37 years. It was there that she met Robert, who was a sewing machine mechanic before joining the army. Carolyn ran a sewing machine for 18 years before becoming a supervisor and then assistant quality control manager before retiring. She was an expert seamstress, making all her clothes herself. She enjoyed sewing, making crafts and working in her yard and her flowers.
Clyde and Rosa Cook
James Clyde Cook Sr. was born in 1900 and his wife was born in 1902. They had 10 children, five girls and five boys. Mr. Cook ran a garage from his home for many years, before moving his business to the corner of US 158 and Redland Road in Davie County. It was in the building adjoining the grocery store owned by Mr. Duke and Effie Smith, now known as Andy’s Grocery.
Mr. Cook worked on cars, trucks and anything that needed fixing. In his day, Davie County was more farm country, so he worked on a lot of farm machinery. If something broke, he fixed it. He even made parts for machines if the farmer needed a part that was not available or if the farmer could not afford the new part. Mr Cook was also an electrician, wiring many homes in Davie County when electricity first became available.
Ms Cook was a homemaker, helping to raise all 10 children. She enjoyed working in her garden, her yard and her flowers.
They taught their children the value of hard work, trust and respect for their fellow human beings. All five of their boys followed in their father’s footsteps, becoming mechanics, owning garages in their homes, working after-hours in their mechanical jobs at other businesses, and after retirement.
The girls were all housewives and worked in textile factories. After working hours, they would come home and help with household chores.
Grady L. McClamrock, Senior Engineering Scholarship
Grady L. McClamrock Sr. lived an enchanted life; often describing his lucky circumstances as living a “fairytale life”.
Grady grew up on a farm in Davie County as a country boy who knew nothing of life outside of Davie, let alone North Carolina. As a high school student, Grady was offered a scholarship to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech). He declined because he had no idea where Blacksburg, Virginia was.
After a year of technical school, Grady went to work for Western Electric as a technician while he built a house and started a family. He took classes through NCSU Extension in the evenings for eight years in pursuit of an engineering degree.
Grady was asked to be part of an elite group of engineers sent by Western Electric to solve problems all over the country. They were called “promising engineers” because they “promised” you everything you wanted to hear in their Monday morning meetings.
Grady’s group developed the first fully automated assembly lines, developed the technology needed to move to microcircuitry, and Grady made the first phone call ever. His group has developed ideas and obtained numerous patents during his 36-year career.
Grady ran the company ‘school’ for seven years before retiring. He trained the technicians and engineers hired by Western Electric to actually do their jobs. Later, he was asked to develop lesson plans and coursework for schools at each Western Electric location.
Reflecting on his life, Grady realized how lucky he was to do all that he did. Grady passed away on August 2, 2022. He wanted to be remembered not for his incredible career, but for the generosity he showed others and the way he helped young people embark on their own pursuing an engineering degree.
To learn more about the foundation, contact Simpson at (336) 753-6903 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.daviefoundation.org.