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Thomas J. McLaren II

Thomas J. McLaren II, of Erie who was born in New Brighton, Pa., March 16, 1930, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Harold J. and Mabel Hutchinson McLaren died, surrounded by his family, Sunday, December 16, 2012 following a brief illness. He graduated from Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, Ga.) and Westminster College (New Wilmington Pa.). He taught English at Gordon College in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, from 1951 to 1954. He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theology. He was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry in 1957, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination in 2007. He served Presbyterian congregations in Glenshaw, Pa., Syracuse, N.Y., Erie, Pa., and Harrisburg, Pa. After 1973 he served as interim pastor in various congregations in the Lake Erie Presbytery, where he was a clergy member and from which he was honorably retired. Tom also served as a Spiritual Director for Koinonia of Erie County. In 1973 he began working for WQLN, Public Broadcasting of N.W. Pennsylvania as a host for "Sunrise Classics." Later he became Director of Radio Programming and Production, retiring from WQLN in 2002. After his retirement, Tom continued to do volunteer work at WQLN as head of the WQLN History Project. His hobbies included amateur radio, photography, music, camping, and computers. He was a member and former president of the Board of JazzErie. Tom also served on the Board of the Erie Philharmonic. He was a member of the Torch Club and Sons of the American Revolution. Tom and his wife Rose enjoyed camping in the U.S. and travel to Nova Scotia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Czech Republic, and Italy. He was an avid reader and enjoyed teaching a class at Wayside Presbyterian Church. In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brothers, Harold and John. Survivors include his wife of 39 years Rose (Rogala) McLaren; four natural children, Elizabeth (Christian) Durand, Paris, France, Bruce (Gabriele) McLaren, Pittsburgh, Pa., Mark (Sandy) McLaren, Jacksonville, Fla., and Deborah (Andy) Shultz, Lewisberry, Pa.; four stepchildren, Cheryl (Bruce) Ritts, Greg Meyer, Robin (Mark) Manna, Todd (Laurie) Meyer, all of Erie; his sister, Elizabeth Weimer, Beaver Falls, Pa.; two sisters-in-law, Betty and Frances McLaren; and 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street at Powell Avenue on Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. All are invited to attend services at Wayside Presbyterian Church, 1208 Asbury Road on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Reverends Keith Sundberg and James Haas officiating. Private burial will be in Laurel Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to WQLN Public Broadcasting 8425 Peach Street Erie, PA 16509 or to a .


Published in the Erie Times-News on Dec. 20, 2012
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