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Norman P McClelland


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Norman P McClelland Obituary
Norman P. McClelland, 90, of Phoenix passed away on July 11, 2017. He was born in Tucson, Ariz., on June 21, 1927, the son of W.T. and Winifred McClelland, Irish immigrants to the U.S. He attended Tucson High School in Tucson, Ariz., and went on to receive a dual B.S. / B.A. degree in agriculture and business administration from the University of Arizona. He spent his life in Arizona, moving to Phoenix in 1967 where he raised his family and grew the Shamrock business. He also enjoyed his home in Coronado, Calif. and spent many summers there with family and friends.
Shamrock Foods Company – parent company of Shamrock Farms and Shamrock Foods – was founded by his father in Tucson, Ariz., in 1922 with a Model T truck and 20 cows. After 95 years in business, it is now one of the top privately held companies in America, and one of the top 100 employers in Arizona. After serving as CEO for Shamrock Foods Company for 45 years, Norman McClelland continued as a guiding force for the company by serving as Chairman of the Board until the time of his passing.
Norman was an iconic leader and leaves behind him a tremendous legacy of business leadership and devotion to public service. He was loved by all who knew him, from Shamrock associates and customers and suppliers, to the greater community full of friends and family. He personified Shamrock's long-standing commitment "to treat associates like family and customers and suppliers like friends."
The impact of Shamrock Foods Company extends far beyond the quality products it manufactures and distributes because Norman believed that it's just as much the company's duty to give back to the community as it is to provide superior products. Thanks to Norman's leadership, Shamrock Foods Company is a significant contributor to organizations in Arizona as well as communities across the country by supporting more than 80 non-profit groups – many of which are education-focused – and donating more than 450,000 pounds of food annually to local food banks.
Not only was giving back to the community a philosophy McClelland instilled in his company, but he himself served as a role model by actively supporting many charitable, business and community organizations including the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Club, and Interfaith Ministries, among others.
As a respected member of the business community, his opinions were sought after. Throughout his lifetime, he served as a leader for organizations including the Arizona State Fair, 100 Club of Arizona, Phoenix Mountain Preservation Commission, Save Our Mountains Foundation, University of Arizona Eller School of Management, Rockford Institute, Howard Center, Goldwater Institute, Joe Foss Institute, Duet and the Irish Cultural & Learning Center.
He enjoyed his involvement with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and established life-long friends who kept in touch and supported an array of philanthropic endeavors together.
Norman's Irish heritage was a source of tremendous pride and he dedicated much of his time to ensuring that Irish culture continues to thrive in Arizona. He kept in close contact with his relatives in Ireland, and frequently traveled there to visit family and friends. He was actively involved in the Phoenix Irish Cultural Center and led the charge to create the center's 11,000-square-foot state-of-the-art library. In 2016, he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from the Irish President in recognition of his commitment to promoting Irish culture and history.
He placed a high value on education and remained an active supporter of his alma mater, the University of Arizona, throughout his life. Norman and his sister, Frances H. McClelland, were both alumni and in 2008 working with close friend John Norton built McClelland Park to house the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. With lifelong friend Karl Eller, in 1992 the new Eller College of Management facility was dedicated and named McClelland Hall in their honor.
Norman's approach was always to be humble and, aside from his business acumen, his true passion was people. At every event, Norman would personally walk around and shake everyone's hand. He had a keen sense of humor and was known for always having an Irish joke.
Norman's life was a true reflection of his commitment to God and his active participation in the Christian community. He was a dedicated Presbyterian and a member of the Valley Presbyterian Church where he served on numerous committees, often with his close "Band of Brothers" who met every week. His constant emphasis was serving others – something he carried with him through all facets of his life.
He is survived by his wife Barbara A. McClelland, son Kent McClelland (Celia), daughter Kathe McClelland and stepdaughter Heather Helser; grandchildren Chandra McClelland, Kerani McClelland, Devon McClelland, Joshua Alvarez, Joy Huneycutt (David), Harlan Helser and Jaeyln Helser; great grandchildren Malachi Huneycutt and Joshua Lincoln Huneycutt; and Barbara S. McClelland, his wife from a previous marriage. He joins his parents and his sister Frances with Jesus.
A viewing will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. PST, Friday, July 21 at Valley Presbyterian Church (6947 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.).
Memorial services will take place in both Phoenix and Tucson as follows:
10 a.m. PST, Saturday, July 22 at Valley Presbyterian Church (6947 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.)

2 p.m. PST, Sunday, July 23 at Trinity Presbyterian Church (400 E. University Blvd., Tucson, Ariz.)
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Mr. McClelland's memory can be made to the Phoenix Irish Cultural Center at www.azirish.org/support-registration or by calling 602-258-0109.
Published in Tucson Local Media on July 21, 2017
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