MSgt. Ernest Eugene|
July 1, 1928 ~ January 22, 2013
SEASIDE - MSgt. Ernest Eugene (Ernie) McLean passed away peacefully from natural causes at his home on January 22, 2013. He was 84. His stepson, Ed and niece, JoAn (his caregiver) were by his side when he left us.Ê
Ernie was born in Cheney, Washington on July 1, 1928. He was the third youngest of the eight children of James E. McLean, Sr. and Lola Cecelia Brown McLean. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade to work for the railroad before enlisting in the Army in 1945. He was 17 years old. After his first hitch in post WWII Germany, he returned home to his family but found civilian life wasn't so interesting. He liked the Army so he re-enlisted and was deployed to Korea in October of 1950. In combat with Chinese forces he was captured, and spent three years as a POW in North Korea. Ê
On his return to the States, he was stationed at Fort Ord, California where he met and fell head-over-heels in love with Adele Bahdziewicz Arntzen. They were married on October 15, 1959 and Ernie became step-dad to Adele's five children. In his 261Ú2 years in the Army, Ernie served all over the country and in addition to his service in Korea he served two tours in Vietnam and earned the Victory in Europe Medal, a Bronze Star for Valor, a Purple Heart, the POW Medal, and a Rifleman 2nd Award along with a chest-full of ribbons. When he retired from the Army, Ernie and Adele moved back to the Monterey Peninsula to be near family; he had a second career working for AVCO Finance, Wackenhut Security, Household Finance and Goldsmith's Jewelers. ÊÊ
After his wife, Adele passed away in 2003, Ernie took to walking his dogs (first Buck and later Dollar) around the neighborhood and waved at every car that went by. Ernie loved to joke, sing and have coffee with friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his five brothers, Ellis, James, Jr., Robert, Charles, and George; his two sisters, Gladys and Dorothy; his wife of 44 years, Adele; and her oldest son, Fred Arntzen. ÊÊ
He is survived by his step-children, Ed Arntzen of Pacifica, Rosalie Arntzen of Sunnyvale, Catherine Arntzen-Randles of NM and Eleanor Arntzen, also of NM; nine grandchildren. Michelle, Melissa, Brian, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jason, Andreas, Matthew and Jessica; and eight great grandchildren. ÊÊ
He is the last of his generation on the McLean side of the family and leaves behind his niece, JoAn McLean who was his devoted caregiver for the last year of his life; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and many generations who reside in California, Washington, Hawaii and New Mexico. He will be missed by all of us.Ê
Services with full military honors will be held at 11:00am on Friday, February 8, 2013 at Seaside Funeral Home, 1915 Ord Grove Ave. Viewing is at 9:00am. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hospice,
, animal shelter or rescue society. Ê Ê
Please visit www.seasidefunerals.com to leave condolences.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Feb. 3, 2013