Clarence Eugene Ballenger III, MD of New Bern, NC, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. He was a beloved Neurologist in New Bern and Jacksonville for more than thirty-five years, and will be dearly missed. Known to all as Clancy, he was born May 23, 1949 in Spartanburg, SC to the late Harriet Roswell Ancrum and Clarence E. Ballenger Jr. He was the grandson of Andrew Simonds Ancrum of Camden, SC and Marie Dean of Spartanburg and Clarence E. Ballenger and Elizabeth Miller of the same place.
He attended The Citadel in Charleston. In 1969 Clancy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in the Infantry for three years, receiving an honorable discharge in 1972. During his service, he spent a year and a half deployed overseas, including to Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. He was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon.
When he returned home, he married Marian “Sissy” Dashiell. She was his world. They moved to Charleston, where he graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina. As newlyweds, they lived at 60 Church Street with their hunting dog, Andrew. They loved to spend their free time together crabbing, duck hunting, and socializing. They then moved to Augusta where he completed his Neurology residency at the Medical College of Georgia. After residency, the Ballengers moved to New Bern, NC where they lovingly and meticulously restored the colonial Coor- Cook House at 521 Hancock Street.
It was during this time that Clancy and Sissy bought land in Jones County and built Otrento. They poured their love, energy, and every bit of their time into creating a beautiful wildlife and shooting preserve that was an oasis for all who knew it. From falconry, duck impoundments, building a crawfish farm, having show horses, keeping bees, and creating habitats for wildlife, Otrento became the heart and soul of the Ballengers.
Clancy was a man of strong principles and many passions. He mastered whatever he set his mind to. His knowledge of wildlife and creativity was immense. He was brilliant, driven, hard-working, and utterly devoted to his wife, his children, and his love for nature. He was a particularly gifted duck hunter in his early years, but his interests shifted towards conservation later in life. A gifted amateur ornithologist, he travelled to the furthest reaches of North America to spot birds – eventually surpassing his original dream of spotting four hundred North American birds.
He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Marian Dashiell Ballenger of New Bern, NC, his daughter Caroline Porcher Ballenger (Joseph Turner Seale Sr.) of Cincinnati, OH, his daughter Marian Roswell Calhoun Ballenger (Justin Allen Barnhill) of Tarboro, NC, and son Clarence Eugene Ballenger IV (Emma vanBree Ballenger) of New Bern, NC. Four grandchildren Harriet Porcher Seale, Joseph Turner Seale Jr., Marian Chambers Barnhill, and Henry Allen Barnhill. Two sisters, Haidee Ballenger Courson and Elizabeth Ballenger Wise, both of Spartanburg, SC, his brother, Norwood Porcher Ballenger of Atlanta, GA and his sister-in-law Ruth Gray Stone of Charleston, SC, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and loving friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Clarence Eugene Ballenger Jr., his mother, Harriet Ancrum Ballenger of Spartanburg, SC, his brother Ancrum Dean Ballenger of Charleston, SC, his uncle and aunt Mr. & Mrs. Porcher Brisbane Douglas Ancrum of Lake Wylie, SC, and first cousin Andrew Porcher Ancrum of the same place.
He was a lifelong Episcopalian, a member of The Huguenot Society of South Carolina, the Carolina Yacht Club in Charleston, the General Society of Colonial Wars (SC), The North American Falconers Association, and numerous other organizations. However, his proudest association was with his family.
He was a wonderful husband and father, and we will all miss and adore him forever.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 at 11am at Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Peregrine Fund, The Nature Conservancy, or your local Wildlife Rehabilitator.
Online condolences may be directed to www.walkerfh.net
Walker Funeral Home of Williamston is serving the Ballenger family.