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3155 Harrison Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 661-3022
Fax: (513) 661-0733
Joan McLean

Joan Marie McLean

February 24, 1937 - July 15, 2020
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Whenever one of Joan McLean’s sons would tell someone that Joan raised four boys, the response was always the same: “Oh, your poor mother.” But Joan would not have traded us -- Patrick, Timothy, Brian and Terrence -- for the world. She and her late husband Gil created a family that was full of love and loyalty and laughter, even if we four boys were responsible for a bit of chaos along the way. As the four of us grew, and we saw the challenges that so many families face, we came to realize that we were the luckiest children on the planet. On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, we lost the best mother in the world when she went to her eternal reward.

Joan Marie Castillon was born on February 24, 1937 in St. Louis, the first child of Florence and Alan Castillon. She married Gil McLean in 1961 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Webster Groves, Missouri and the first of their five children was born two years later. Their only daughter, Margaret Mary, died in childbirth, a loss that Joan described as “the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
When her sons were young, she was a full time parent, instilling in them the values of education, hard work, honesty and faith. Joan had been a teacher in her early 20s, passing on her love of reading to her sons, and later returning to the classroom at St Jude School. Like her loving siblings – David, Jerry, Lois and Vicki – she was a teacher and an educator at the core of her being, both in and out of school.
At the heart of Joan’s life was her deep, unshakable Catholic faith. It inspired every facet of her existence, and provided her with strength during her most challenging moments, especially when Gil passed and as she endured the difficulties associated with cancer.
Joan was a voracious reader who loved American history. She had a particular affection for Native Americans, and her many travels out west were often tied to connections she had with Navajos in New Mexico and the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. She was also engaged closer to home, serving as a leader of several gardening groups and for decades playing multiple leadership roles with the local women’s organizations. She was especially proud to serve as an officer in the National Federation of Junior Women’s Clubs during the 1976 bicentennial year.
As much as she did outside of the home, she was a mother first. She was always there for us, encouraging us to dream; bandaging us when we fell; comforting us when we were sick; pushing us to travel far and wide; and sharing her pride in us when we succeeded. To her dying breath, she always showed her husband, her sons, her family and her many dear friends that they were loved. This love was unconditional. No matter how many shattered kitchen windows from errant baseballs she endured and no matter how many broken light fixtures she replaced caused by those of us who couldn’t understand the only family rule – No bouncing balls in the house! – her love was limitless.
She had a strong heart, which she needed when she would see son Tim near the top of the backyard trees, still climbing higher, or when Tim jumped off the back porch roof. (Yes, it was usually Tim.)
The boundless love in her heart was extended as her family grew. She welcomed and adored the Modern Girls – Angela, Amy and Suzzy – who married her sons, and her eyes shone brightly at any mention of her beautiful grandchildren, Jordan, Katelyn, Sarah Grace, Ian, Kara, Liam and Emma.
Joan McLean’s life was a lesson for us all, on how to be a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother. To enter her orbit was to feel loved and cared for and welcomed. There was never jealousy and rarely anger; only support and warmth and joy.
For those of us left behind, her legacy is the knowledge we carry forward of how to be good parents and good friends. Along with Gil, Joan created a home that was, for family and friends, a safe harbor. We could hardly have asked for more.
Joan’s family wishes to express our gratitude to the staff at Hospice of Cincinnati and Grace Hospice in Michigan. We also want to thank the kind staffers at Twin Towers as well as Joan’s final home aide in Michigan, Aggie Caudill. In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Cincinnati or St Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Visitation Friday, July 24th from 5pm-8pm at Neidhard-Minges Funeral Home, 3155 Harrison Ave Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. A second visitation will take place on Saturday, July 25th from 9:30am until time of Funeral Mass at 10:30am Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 3450 Lumardo Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45238.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday July 24, 2020 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday July 24, 2020 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Neidhard-Minges Funeral Home (Westwood)
    3155 Harrison Ave
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45211
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday July 25, 2020 | 10:30am
    Saturday July 25, 2020 10:30am
    Our Lady of Lourdes Church
    3450 Lumardo Ave.
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45238
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Len Wenke
  • Interment

    St. Joseph New Cemetery
    4500 Foley Rd
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45238
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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David and Tiffany Homuth and The Gerald R. Ford Institute sent flowers to the family of Joan Marie McLean.
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Theresa Scheper

Posted at 10:40am
We will never forget all of our wonderful Thanksgivings that we were able to share with you and your family. I am so sorry we were unable to make it to the services for your mom. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers . Tom, Theresa, Stephen, Rebecca, Hailee and Ryan Scheper

Barb Lent

Posted at 02:04pm
Patrick, Tim, Brian, Terry and families. I’m so sad I couldn’t come to the funeral today. Joan has been a very dear friend since 1965 and I will miss her so much. I live in a senior citizen community and didn’t think I should expose myself to the possibility of contracting COVID and bringing it in here. It was a hard decision to make. My sympathies to all of you at this very sad time. Love and hugs, Barb Lent

Donna Malecki

Posted at 12:19pm
My heart goes out to the entire McLean family. It seems you all have been part of my Thanksgiving memories for almost 50 years. I was honored, however, over the past 3 years to have a closer friendship with your mom. She shared her love and pride for her family with me while chatting, grabbing lunch or sharing books. I’m certain she was not a fan of my driving but always kept her cool. I had a bit of trouble keeping mine at her service but am glad I got to chat with a few of you. I simply want to thank you all for sharing your mom with me. I will miss her.
Donna Malecki

Elaine Volker

Posted at 05:35pm
A neighbor in Westwood, a volunteer at St. Francis-St George Hospital when I worked in that office and a patron of the community theater group that I was a part of in Cheviot, we would always catch up with each other at the plays. Joan was such a sweet lady, proud of her family and always interested in what was happening. May you rest in peace with your beloved Gil.

Nancy Ann White

Posted at 01:56pm
Yesterday was a very sad day! I learned one of my dearest friends had become an angel in heaven with her beloved Gil. I first met Joan through the Oak Hills Jr. Women's Club (probably in 1965), & was surprised to learn we lived on opposite ends of North Glen! We found we had many other things in common: she had four sons, I had three; we both loved gardening; we loved working together on volunteer projects in the club; we both returned to teaching once our sons were in school; we simply liked being with one another & talking on the phone. We enjoyed having lunch at Joan's favorite restaurant, the North Gate Olive Garden, many times over the years. Regretfully, we saw each other only one more time when Joan & I had lunch at that restaurant with Lois when she was in town last August. What a great time the three of us had! After that, my husband's dialysis schedule, Joan's Hospice appointments & then the virus lock down kept us apart, so we could only keep in touch via the phone. I had talked with Joan early in July & she mentioned some of her family were coming for a visit. Since I live in Fairfield, she asked me for some info on places they might visit in Butler County because she wasn't "up" for long trips. Sadly, her plans changed suddenly.
To Patrick, Tim, Brian, Terry & your families, you all have my deepest sympathies. I'm so thankful you were all able to comfort your wonderful mother & be with her during her last days. I'm so sorry I can't attend my dear friend's funeral, but I'll be keeping you in my prayers, just as I did for Joan each evening. Love to all of you, Nancy White.

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