OBITUARY: Jack Erwin McLean Jr.

Jack E. McLean Jr. died May 2, 2024, after telling his family he was done with birthdays.  He said this for the previous ten birthdays, but this time he meant it. 

Jack was born April 28, 1935 in San Diego, California, to Mazell and Jack E. McLean Sr.  He spent his younger years growing up on his maternal great uncle’s ranch, Paradise Chinchilla Ranch in Lakeside, California.  There he tricked people to pick and eat raw olives from the olive grove, learned to care for chinchillas and assorted farm animals, and set an entire hillside on fire conducting a science experiment with magnesium near the ranch’s water reservoir.

At Grossmont High School, where he graduated in 1953, Jack was active in student council and speech and debate.  Jack took classes at San Diego State University but ultimately joined the Army for two years in 1958.

Jack would tell stories to anyone who would listen, and this made him a great salesman, first working in his parents’ liquor store Cork & Bottle in La Puente and then various beer and wine distributors in the Willamette Valley after Jack decided to leave crowded Southern California for the promised land that is Oregon in 1972.

He shared his love of reading, learning, classical music, good food, and cursing with his three daughters and also enjoyed reading bedtime stories in different voices and helping them with homework.  Jennifer learned to play craps and poker. Heather listened to operas with Dad as he narrated what was happening.  Megan loved playing cribbage with Dad.  He may not have had the patience to teach his daughters to drive, but he did teach them the essential driving knowledge of knowing the backroads and side streets.

Jack enjoyed cooking and spent weekends in the kitchen dirtying every pot and pan because he had able-bodied children to clean up after him.  His family enjoyed his culinary efforts but still teased him decades later about the tuna burritos he made one evening.

He loved being grandpa and papa to Liam Sharp and Nathaniel and Abigale Looney.

Left to remember all his stories and clean up his crap (Dad’s words) are his wife of 59 years Gale, daughters Jennifer McLean, Heather McLean (David Sharp), and Megan Looney (Jim) and his younger sister Linda McGue.

–Submitted information

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