Dr. Clyde E. Chesney, former North Carolina Cooperative Extension district director who from 1998 until his retirement in 2009 was an administrator at Tennessee State University, died April 18 in Nashville, Tenn. He was 63.
Dr. Chesney was a North Carolina Cooperative Extension employee for 24 years before joining Tennessee State in 1998. He joined N.C. Cooperative Extension in 1974, serving first as a 4-H and natural resources specialist with what was then the N.C. Agricultural Extension Program at North Carolina A&T State University. When he left North Carolina, Dr. Chesney was a district director with what was then the N.C. Agricultural Extension Service at N.C. State University.
Dr. Chesney served as administrator of the Cooperative Extension Program at Tennessee State from 1998 until July 2008, while from 2008 until his retirement in August 2009, he was interim associate dean for extension in the Tennessee State School of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
He held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from N.C. State along with a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. In 1969, Dr. Chesney became the first African-American student to start for the N.C. State football team. He was a football “walk on” who earned a scholarship and lettered in 1970, 1971 and 1972. In 1971, he was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Football Team. He was salutatorian of E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville, class of 1967, and a member of the E.E. Smith Alumni Association.
Dr. Chesney served a deacon of Temple Church in Nashville and was a former deacon of Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh. He was a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Anita Miller Chesney; two sons, Clyde Jr. and Charles; a daughter, Camille Pitts; grandchildren, Quinton, Jajuane, Jamisha and Benjamin; his mother, Irene Minter, Fayetteville; four brothers, Charles, John, Michael and Joseph; four sisters, Sherri Minter, Lilly Minter, Fanette McDuffie and Darlene Murphy; and a host of nieces and nephews.
A family visitation was scheduled Monday, April 23, at Temple Church in Nashville, with funeral to follow. Interment is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 10 a.m., at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Temple Church Endowment Fund (3810 Kings Lane, Nashville, TN) and/or the N.C. 4H Foundation are requested. Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors, Nashville, is in charge of arrangements.