Clyde Osborne Draughon, Jr.
December 26, 1937 ~ April 8, 2020
Resided in: Atlanta, GA
Clyde Osborne Draughon, Jr of Atlanta, Georgia, passed away at home on April 8, 2020, surrounded by his three daughters.
Born to Clyde and Bertha Draughon in Mobile, Alabama on December 26, 1937, “Buzzy” was younger by 8 years than his sister, Eulalee. Family photographs tell the story of a happy childhood. His Mobile roots were important to him, and he maintained lifelong friendships with schoolmates from Old Shell Rd Elementary and Murphy High School. As he tells it, Clyde first spotted his wife Lyn at Government Street Presbyterian Church. They began dating in high school and married in July of 1960 after he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The recipient of a Navy scholarship, Clyde was the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He served three years as an officer in the Navy where he recognized a passion for foreign places many of which he would return to later in life with Lyn at his side. As he noted in a journal entry in 1988, “Traveling has become a wonderful hobby.”
Upon his return to civilian life in 1963, Clyde and Lyn settled in Mobile where he took a position with International Paper Company in its accounting division. By 1966, with two young children and an MBA from the University of Alabama, Clyde decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in banking. He moved his family to Atlanta and began an enriching 30 year career with Trust Company Bank (later Suntrust, now Truist). Serving as executive vice president at affiliate banks in Rome and later Augusta before returning to Atlanta in 1980, he was involved in all aspects of the banking business with a special focus on commercial lending and published a book on the subject in 1988. A scrapbook of newspaper clippings and letters from colleagues underscore the pleasure and pride he took in his career, especially his last years leading the Asset-based Lending Division before retiring in 1996.
Clyde had the enviable good fortune to enjoy a second career after he retired from Trust Company bank. Always civic minded, he put his Master Gardener certification to use as a volunteer on the Plant Hotline at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and became a staple on Mondays at the gardens. It was there that Clyde stumbled upon an art class on watercolors. He soon plunged into the art scene, reading copiously on technique, attending workshops, and entering his work in competitions throughout the Southeast. Lyn enthusiastically joined Clyde in this new endeavor, painting alongside him as well as learning to matte and frame their work. This new interest combined so many of their shared passions: travel, reading, art, and being outdoors. Clyde painted daily for twenty-five years and especially enjoyed the stimulating and instructive company of fellow painters on Fridays at the Atlanta Artists Center. A juried member of the Georgia Watercolor and Southern Watercolor Societies, he proudly sold over 200 of his paintings, the last one from his hospital bed!
Self-improvement was an important aspect of Clyde’s character. He read widely and journaled regularly. An unabashed note writer, Clyde’s files and journals are full of entries covering topics ranging from art to religion to business to family history. In his final days, Clyde’s daughters took turns reading to him from the travel journals that he and Lyn had kept. Thanks to his careful notes, they traveled once more across the miles on the bow of a ship, up steep ascents or along winding footpaths in such far-off places as the Canadian Rockies, the Swiss Alps, the Amalfi Coast, and the rolling hills of New Zealand.
A devoted family man, Clyde loved nothing more than spending time with Lyn and his three daughters. They recall a happy childhood with their father which included regular Sunday outings after church and summer trips to beautiful places, the Gulf Coast ranking as a favorite destination. Clyde was a supportive husband and father, encouraging Lyn and his daughters in their various pursuits, both professional and extracurricular. He lovingly embraced each of his sons-in-law and celebrated each of his ten grandchildren with great fanfare. “Pop” was a generous and fun-loving grandfather, always fully present when engaged in activities with them. Summers together with Pop and Pi at their second home on Lake Burton were sacred, and the seat of many of the best Draughon family stories and photographs.
His family wishes to thank the very special folks at Canterbury Court, staff members and residents alike, who welcomed Clyde and Lyn to their community, sustained him after Lyn passed in January of 2019, and cared for him so lovingly in his final months. Clyde’s daughters are equally indebted to his many dear friends and family members who called and sent cards all along the way, reminiscing about great moments shared through the years.
Clyde is survived by his three daughters, Leigh Walsh (Tim) of Atlanta, Georgia, Karen Waddill (Danny) of Newport News, Virginia, and Laura Kirby (Lem) of Asheville, North Carolina as well as his ten grandchildren, James, Jack & Megan Walsh; Wilson, Lillian, Evan, & Henry Waddill; and Paul, Mark, & Wallace Kirby.
A service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or the Atlanta Artists Center.