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Northampton, MA 01060
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John MacLean

1943 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John MacLean Obituary
John A. MacLean

1943 - 2016 HATFIELD John Alexander MacLean, 73, was born on June 6th 1943 in Winthrop, MA and died Friday June 17th 2016 at UMASS Medical Center in Worcester after a brief illness. He was the son of Alexander Campbell "Doc" MacLean and Anna Isabelle "Izzy" Meldrum. He spent his childhood years in Fitchburg, MA until his father completed Optometry school and his family moved to Williamstown, MA. He attended Williamstown High School, where he was co-captain of the football team, and highest scorer in WHS history. He was also Vice President of his senior class. John graduated in 1961 and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst until 1963, when he joined the United States Air Force. He served proudly from 1963 to 1967, one year of which was in Samsun, Turkey conducting electronic surveillance. He then spent one year stationed in Riverside, California where he was lead guitarist in a rock band called The Rare Breed. He was honorably discharged in 1967 as Airman 1st Class. John and "Kasey" met in 1965 while she and John's sister Lorna were classmates in nursing school. John was home on leave before his service in Turkey. They became pen pals and best friends and always saw each other when he was home on leave. Over the years their friendship grew into love, and they were married in 1969. John returned to UMASS and played middle linebacker for the Redmen (now Minutemen) football team and was named top defensive player in the Yankee Conference. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1970. After graduation from UMASS, the couple moved to Hatfield so John could begin his first year as a Science teacher and Assistant Football Coach at Northampton High School. His former UMASS housemate and fellow football enthusiast Frank Tudryn joined the coaching staff a short time later, thus continuing a coaching and teaching comraderie that was to last for many years. The Blue Devils won the 1986 Superbowl during their tenure. At Northampton High School John taught basic and AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Electronics, and designed an Anatomy and Physiology course. He obtained a Master of Science in Teaching from American International College in 1976. He developed rapport with his students with his humor-infused teaching style and memorable final exams incorporating questions relating to Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. During these years his daughters Shannon and Erin were born. He loved being a Dad, and often brought the girls to football meetings or practice, or, as they called it, "rolling down the hill at the high school". During and after his tenure at NHS, he had "part time" jobs, almost always involving driving tractor trailers. He loved the big trucks! His employers included Gleason Brothers, Coca Cola, Agriturf, Pleasant Valley Trucking, and most notably and lastly, Szawlowski Potato Farms. A relationship that began in the 1970s through football contacts grew to become a second family. Always known as Coach, the highlight of his driving career was helping design his very own "Tater Coach". He was always proud of his Scottish heritage and he and his wife enjoyed many trips to Scotland to visit their daughter Erin while she attended the University of St Andrews then University of Edinburgh. Having three grandsons prompted vacations in Maine, New Hampshire, Niagara Falls and as recently as April, to Disney World. They called him "Papa", referred to him as a "good fixer", or as he phrased it, "experimental equipment manufacturer" and he also enjoyed welding art. As a father, he was the most wonderful combination of love, support, humor, wisdom, loyalty and good temper. He was a man of intelligence and dignity, deeply loved by his wife and daughters. It is impossible to convey the magnitude of this loss. John leaves his wife of 47 years, Kathleen (Kasey), his daughters Erin MacLean, Shannon MacLean Daughdrill, son in law Robert Daughdrill, and grandsons Spencer, Carter, and Dawson Daughdrill. He also leaves his sisters Lorna Casey of Florida and Trudy MacLean Peck of Clarksburg, MA, his mother in law Theresa Card of Pittsfield, MA, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, mother, and brother, Bruce MacLean. Calling hours will be held at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton (173 North St., Northampton, Ma. 01060) on Friday afternoon from 4 7 p.m. The family invites you to join them on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Czelusniak Funeral home for a Celebration of John's life. At John's request, his ashes will be interred at a private service at a later date.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on June 22, 2016
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