Obituary for Gilbert McLean
Gilbert J. McLean
Gilbert McLean left this earth peacefully with his loving wife Joan and their family at his side on Saturday, August 5, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Gil was born on May 13, 1935 in St. Louis, the only child of Rose and James McLean. He married into the raucous Castillon clan when he joined Joan in Holy Matrimony on August 12, 1961. Together Joan and Gil had five children: Patrick Alan McLean of Ypsilanti, Michigan; Mary Margaret (died during childbirth); Timothy James McLean of Naples, Florida; Brian David McLean of Atlanta; and Terrence Michael McLean of New York City.
Gil was a man of faith and a man of family. He cherished his Roman Catholicism and worked tirelessly to share the good news of the Gospel with family, friends and with those considering converting to the Catholic Church. He led by example as a wonderful husband of nearly 56 years and as a tremendous father to his four sons. He loved nothing more than spending time with dear family and friends, especially the families of his Castillon in-laws, David, Jerry, Lois and Vicki, and with his daughters-in-law Angela, Amy and Suzzy, and his grandchildren Jordan, Sarah Grace, Katelyn, Ian, Kara, Liam and Emma.
Gil was a journalist by training, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He worked for the Defiance (Ohio) Crescent-News; the Cincinnati Enquirer; and, for most of his working life, for the National Underwriter Company, where he served as editor of the Ohio Underwriter, an insurance trade publication. In his retirement, he converted his journalism talents into part-time work as a pontificator on matters of national and international importance. He shared his opinions freely, especially with members the family like Bob Simon, Angela Scott and Jerry Castillon who dared to engage him.
Gil had a love of sports that tied him to his sons and was passed down to successive generations. Family gatherings always included reminiscences about the Big Red Machine of the 1970s (yes, Pete should be in the Hall of Fame); lamentations about the Bengals (at least they can usually beat the Browns); and stories about the running exploits of sons Tim, Brian and Terry. There would have been more talk about soccer and hockey if those sports would have listened to Gil and eliminated the offsides rules. Gil was more than an armchair athlete. An ambidextrous pitcher, he once pitched to Stan Musial in an exhibition in St. Louis and he was offered a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals. Ever the coach, in his final days before heart surgery he was reinforcing with grandson Ian the importance of being able to kick the soccer ball well with both feet. Unfortunately Gil’s athletic talent did not extend to the Monopoly board, where son Terry lost his first two family battles at the age of four and proceeded to pummel Gil for the next forty years.
Gil’s final years were spent with his family and in deepening his faith. He was so proud of being part of the family’s Catholic tradition, and looked back with particular fondness on Suzzy’s conversion to Catholicism, and on the lives of Christian service offered by Sr. Lois Castillon and Vicki Simon. Gil spent many of his retirement hours serving the less fortunate in Cincinnati through the programs of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and his family requests that any donations made in Gil’s name be forwarded to this worthy organization.
Gil’s loving family wishes to extend thanks to all those who showed such kindness to him and to the family, especially over these final few months. To Gil and Joan’s friends, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love and concern you expressed. And a special thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Cleveland Clinic, who treated Gil with love, respect and compassion as they worked tirelessly to extend his life.
Services to celebrate Gil’s life and his ascension to the next life will be held later this week. On Thursday, August 10, from 5 pm to 8pm, visitation will be held at the Neidhard Minges Funeral Home in Westwood. On Friday, August 11, a Mass will be celebrated at 10:30a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The Mass will be followed by the interment at St. Joseph New Cemetery, Delhi