On Thursday, May 13, 2021, surrounded by his girls, John “Mac” N. McLean, Jr. of The Villages, FL went peacefully home to be with our Heavenly Father after a long and valiant battle with ALS at the age of 74.
Mac was born on March 17, 1947 to John & Johanne (Finley) McLean in Port Chester, NY and was raised in Yorktown, NY. When Mac was 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) where he developed a passion for aviation. After completing his commitment to the USAF as an enlisted officer, he married Patricia (Maccarello) McLean of Mt. Kisco, NY on September 12, 1970.
After Mac and Pat were married, he was accepted into Manhattan College in Bronx, NY where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing. Mac went on to be commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and was awarded a coveted pilot training slot and would be later trained to fly the B-52. He later earned his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. As a result of Mac’s determination, strong work ethic and undying dedication to our country, he retired in 2004 as a Colonel with 34 years of service with multiple well-deserved military honors and accolades.
Nothing brought Mac more joy than his passion for aviation and that was evident to anyone who knew him. He was forever a student – striving to learn whatever he could to maintain and fly the machine that he loved. In 2012, Mac graduated valedictorian from Iowa Western where he earned an Airframe & Power Plant license to become an FAA-Certified Mechanic.
Even though Mac was a well decorated veteran and lover of the sky, Mac will be remembered for his love and dedication to his family and friends, especially his wife, Pat and two daughters, Kathleen and Colleen.
Mac’s bigger-than-life personality and his million dollar smile were endearing. He never knew a stranger and was the life of the party. He was always striving to perfect his canned dill pickle recipe; he always had tequila on hand for his world-famous margaritas; and he never turned down chips and salsa. Mac’s skill to construct the perfect “surprise” from beginning to end was flawless and his ability to always misplace his phone or keys was without fail.
Mac’s spirit and unending faith will be carried on by his wife of over 50 years, Patricia (Maccarello) McLean, his daughters Kathleen Smith (husband Michael and their children, Cooper McLean and Margaret Malin) of Murphy, TX and Colleen Williamson (husband Bryan and their daughter, Finley Grace) of Westminster, CO; Mac’s siblings Elizabeth Kyle Robinson of Salina, CA and Hamilton Stoner McLean of Moultonborough, NH, many in-laws, nieces, nephews, family and friends too numerous to list but were loved and cherished by Mac. Mac is preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Johanne (Finley) McLean and his youngest brother, Gardner Windrum McLean of Putnam Valley, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial funds have been established in Mac’s name at Tunnel to Towers (718) 987-1931 – www.t2t.org and Cornerstone Hospice Foundation, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL, 32778, donate.cshospice.org A memorial service and celebration of life to follow in the coming months.