Clarence Carlyle Poe, Jr.

Clarence “Buddy” Carlyle Poe, Jr. went home to be with his loving heavenly father on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the age of 82. After a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, he peacefully died in the loving arms of Madeline, his wife of 62 years.

Buddy was born July 6, 1939 in Appomattox, Virginia and was the son of Clarence Carlyle Poe, Sr. and Blanche Babcock Poe. He spent his formative years learning many skills working with his dad at Poe Hardware. He graduated from Appomattox High School in 1957 where he met his high school sweetheart Madeline Guill. Buddy was accepted into the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. In 1959, he and Madeline were married and started their life together in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Upon graduating from Tech in 1961, Buddy accepted a job with the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. After publishing his research at Boeing, in 1966 he was recruited to the Apollo Program at NASA (his dream job). Much of his research in fracture and fatigue and composites contributed to many of the successful Apollo missions and the Space Shuttle. Buddy received his MS degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech in 1969. During his 33-year career with NASA, he acquired numerous awards for his research and contributions and was the first recipient of the H.J.E. Reid Award. He enjoyed his travels to conferences around the world to present his research to others. One of his greatest joys while working at NASA was mentoring engineering interns from Virginia Tech. Buddy retired from NASA in 1999. He received his Professional Engineering License and went to work for his son-in-law at Bay Electric Co. for 15 years before fully retiring.

As a devout Christian with a strong foundation in his faith, he served his Lord in many ways as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher and a choir member for over 60 years. His passion was the mission trips with Builders for Christ. This missionary work took him across the U.S. and even Belarus. The friendships that were forged on these trips lasted a lifetime.

Buddy was an avid Hokie fan to say the least and a generous supporter of the athletics and engineering departments. He and Madeline were honored with The Clarence “Buddy” Poe and Madeline Poe Study Room in the football athletic facility. As he was a member of the corps during his first two years at Tech, Buddy looked forward to and enjoyed the reunions of the Old Guard.

Spending time out on the boat was another passion of his that also became a passion for the whole family. Many summers were spent fishing in the rivers and bay with anyone he could find to go with him. He loved the fight of the blue fish and couldn’t wait to see what was on the end of the line. He also had the patience of a saint teaching all of his kids and some of their friends to water ski. Most summer vacations revolved around the boat.

Buddy is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Helen Mae Beaty and daughter Sherrie Lynn Poe. He is survived by his wife Madeline G. Poe, brother Dr. Richard B. Poe (Teresa), children Steven C. Poe (Alyson), Tricia L. Biagas (John), and Leslie P. Harris (Kenneth), grandchildren Chelsea Poe, Alexandra Biagas, Cassidy Poe, Joshua Harris, Carly Biagas, Sydney Harris, Patrick Harris and Alyssa Meyer along with many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express their sincere thanks to Williamsburg Landing for the outstanding care given to Buddy during these last few months.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Seaford Baptist Church, CHKD, CureSearch for childhood cancer research or a charity of your choice.
A viewing will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Seaford Baptist Church, in Yorktown, followed with a funeral at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 30 at the Babcock Cemetery in Appomattox, Virginia.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.


  1. Paul and Gail Hayes

    We are saddened to learn of Buddy’s passing. Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible disease and medical science has not yet developed a way to minimize it’s effects, let alone a cure. More of us will have to deal with it. We recall Buddy as such a good friend at Stevens Memorial Baptist Church and worked there together for many years. Buddy was an inspirational tenor singer. He had an uncanny knack of wrapping up a disagreement in a business meeting with a new question that gave us all the real problem to consider, and ultimately led to answers and peace. He knew how to get to the heart of a matter and dismiss petty arguments. To Madeline and the rest of the family, we grieve with you and claim the beatitude where Jesus said those who grieve will be blessed. We now know what he meant because we are blessed to have known and worshiped with Buddy for many years. May the many good memories of him flood your minds and minimize the difficulties he suffered.

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