Eric McLean
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McLean, Eric James

Eric James McLean, "The Bucket List Guy," age 28, passed away August 23, 2012, at his parents home in Two Rivers.

Eric was born in Orlando, Fl on July 17, 1984 to Mary and Brian McLean. Eric attended schools in Gahanna, OH and Two Rivers, WI, graduating as Class President from Two Rivers Washington High School in 2002. During his high school years he played Soccer. Following high school, Eric graduated from UW Whitewater in Management Computer Systems. While at Whitewater Eric played Rugby. Following graduation from Whitewater he began employment with The Harley-Davidson Company. Eric loved his dogs, his Dodge Charger, Harley Night Rod Special and his mom's garden. He was known as "Batman." In July 2011, Eric married Cari Jaeger and moved to Port Washington, WI. Eric and Cari greatly enjoyed their neighbors and the support they received. Eric was very proud to work for Harley-Davidson and enjoyed his coworkers. He liked to travel, going to Milwaukee Brewers games, and riding his Harley.

Eric passed away after a 9 year battle with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). He was first diagnosed following his freshman year at college in 2003. In the following years, Eric received three stem cell transplants, radiation, and numerous regimens of chemotherapy. Despite the terrific toll taken by the disease, Eric remained focused on living life. His greatest desire was to do the normal things in life like mowing the yard or taking care of his house.

After a relapse in 2009, Eric put together a bucket list of things that he wanted to accomplish. The activities were fun times spent with family and friends that drew him closer to those he loved as his disease became more difficult to defeat. He was very grateful for all of the people who contributed so that he could complete so many items on the list. Eric shared his fight with cancer openly to help raise cancer awareness and so that others might share in his journey.

A large part of Eric's fight resulted in the formation of the Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric (LIFE). LIFE became a non-profit organization to provide support for finding a cure for leukemia and other cancers and to help others fighting cancer. His efforts live on at

Eric is survived by his wife, Cari of Manitowoc, WI; his parents, Mary and Brian of Two Rivers, WI; brothers, Mike (Megan) of O'Fallon, MO; Steve (Ashley) of Two Rivers, WI; a sister, Lindsey of Manitowoc, WI; and two nieces and two nephews: Ava (special goddaughter), Jaxon, Emmalyn and Owen. He is further survived by other family members and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, September 1, 2012, at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Two Rivers. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be Rev. Tom Reynebeau. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc following the luncheon.

Visitation will be held on Friday. August 31, from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Two Rivers. Visitation will continue on Saturday, September 1, at church from 8:00 until 10:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that blood donations be made to your local blood center or that cash donations be made out to LIFE. Eric also encouraged all eligible people to support the bone marrow registry at Presently, stem cell transplant provides the best chance for a cure for AML.

Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family by visiting

The Klein & Stangel Funeral Home, Two Rivers, is assisting the McLean family with funeral arrangements.

The family would like to send their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Hari and the staff at Froedtert, who took such good care of Eric over the years. Thank you to Harley-Davidson for the support and kindness shown to Eric during his employment with them.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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50 entries
August 20, 2019
7 years ago, and, I remember you like it was yesterday. You were such a special, kind person with such a great deal of courage. You captured not only my heart, but, the hearts of people all over the world. You will be forever missed and forever loved. You're in a perfect place with all the other angels just like yourself. Fondly, Lee Buono
September 25, 2012
Rest in peace Eric
Amy J
September 21, 2012
I have followed a few of Eric's Youtube posts and it has affected me deeply. I just found out today that Eric had passed and tears swelled in my eyes. Eric fought hard but never stopped living life to the fullest. His courage was unmistakable and he made a mark on our lives. He's a hero and will be missed greatly.
David Wipert
September 19, 2012
I followed your valiant fight on Youtube and I'm heart broken that you are gone. You will NOT be forgotten. My first grandaughter was born 1.5 hours before you passed away.. on your big brother's birthday and my little brother's birthday. R.I.P, my friend. It's heartwarming to know you are no longer suffering.
Sue Ferrari
September 18, 2012
RIP, Eric.
May God bless you and your loved ones.
September 17, 2012
I followed your struggle on youtube. I am very sorry to the McLean family and friends. My prayers are with you.....
Beverly Henderson
September 17, 2012
Dear Eric you have made me cry and you have made me laugh but most of all you have made the world see best of who you are. You showed what being courageous and brave truly looks like and it will always have the looks of your face and your heart.

See you on the other side.

Alta (Lung Cancer stage IV)
September 16, 2012
Rest in peace Eric...
September 14, 2012
Sleep in peace, your life consist of no more pain or struggle...
Anthony Jones
September 13, 2012
May you be at a lovely place. I wish your family and friends strength to overcome this loss... Not on this earth, but never forgotten.

Bless, Elza Proost
The Netherlands
Elzaliene Proost
September 12, 2012
You lived in the face of death. Thank you for being so open with your story, inspiring others including myself to live while we are alive .
September 10, 2012
God Bless you and your entire family. The pain of losing a loved one is devastating. I know this. Just know he is in a better place. I truly believe that. My prayers are with you
Marianne McCabe
September 9, 2012
???? ????? ???

God bless you, Eric. You were an inspiration.

???? ???? ???? - Rahmat Allah Alayk (Allah's mercy be upon you)
Amir Atallah
September 7, 2012
Eric, with Jesus all is possible. Put your trust in him. Say , Oh My Jesus you have said, truly I say to you, ask anything of the Father in My Name and he will give it to you. Jesus words are true. Ask to be cured and it will happen as long as you truly believe in His Words.
September 7, 2012
Eric, Be at peace and may God be with your wife and family...

Your Life is a testament to what Loving Life is...

Thank YOU
Larissa Licon
September 7, 2012
Your story was both heartbreaking and inspirational. You touched many with your courage and your drive. One of my favorite quotes is " A man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind." You lived your life as if everyday counted and that is what most of us forget to do. I am sure you are in Heaven now with my buddy Alex who passed away last year from cancer at the age of 28. Thank you!
Isaac Franco
September 6, 2012
Eric-I will never forget you!!stay strong cari and mclean family!!
libby cape
September 5, 2012
I searched the Internet today to see if there were any updates on Eric. I'm so sorry to hear the news. I have learned so much from Eric by watching his YouTube blogs. he truly was a gift to so many. May Gods peace be with his family.
September 5, 2012
Cari & the McLean Family,
I too did not know of Eric, until his video. What an amazing young man. He lived his life to the fullest and has shown each of us to do the same. I was given the gift of life from someone many years ago and all to often we get caught up in everything that we forgot others in need. May your legacy live on forever. Rest in peace
Rhonda Dean
September 5, 2012
God be with you, you were an inspiration to all, You touch so many with your story.
Thelma Berger
September 4, 2012
God gives us the stongest to be our teachers...and I'm sure that He said "Job well done" when he greeted you. I didn't know you but will keep your lessons with me always.
September 3, 2012
Julie Weedman
September 2, 2012
You were an Angel on earth & you touched so many lives while you were here.
September 2, 2012
Rest in Peace Eric
The McCain Family
September 2, 2012
I wanted the entire McLean family to know that Eric's life has touched so many people. I am an Oncology nurse in West Palm Beach, Florida and I had the priviledge to hear about his amazing life and all the wonderful things that Eric stood for. He was an amazing young man and his life has taught me and numerous others to not take the simple things in life for granted. Thank you for sharing his life with so many and may his memory live on FOREVER!!!!
Amy Freeman
September 2, 2012
Thank you.
September 2, 2012
This past year I've been contemplating on suicide. Somehow I got wind of your video on YouTube and I gotta've really opened my eyes. I am so ashamed to have ever thought of taking my own life when yours was taken from you. You fought so hard...I need to do the same. Thank you so much for everything you did. You touched my heart.
September 2, 2012
Eric has reminded me to live out my days to the fullest, and be thankful for the gift of life that God continues to grant me. He answered God's call, and helped more people, with his videos, than he could have imagined. Thank you & God Bless.
Julie Weedman
September 1, 2012
The Good Lord sent Eric McLean, an extraordinary and unforgettable young man, who touched and forever changed thousands of lives as only he could do through his…
Funny sense of humor which brought a big ol' smile to his face…and mine, too.
Creativity that always seemed to be bouncing around in his head which made me chuckle.
Caring spirit which prompted him to reach out to others and inspired me to do the same.
His intellectual insight as he shared his journey with all who were blessed to run across him. And...
His big heart of love for his family which seemed to radiate through the computer screen.
Eric's homegoing ushered him into the presence of the Lord where he is now using his creativity to bring a chuckle to all of his friends and family who where waiting on him to get there.
To you, his precious family, I send my prayers that the Gentle Shepherd will hold you in His arms of love and fill you with peace, hope and healing.
I will hold Eric's memory in my heart.
Debbi Gray
September 1, 2012
September 1, 2012
Thank You for sharing your struggle. Should I get in the same situation I will now fear it less. I've placed several cancer donations in your memory so far & will continue to do so. Thank you.
Jack Davidson
September 1, 2012
Though I did not know you well- your perserverence and courage continue to be, sincerely, of greatest insipration to me- Rest easy in your Father's arms-
September 1, 2012
May you fly high with the angels!
Kayla Escamilla
September 1, 2012
I'm so sorry. Your story brought me to tears. You did so much to share your journey with others. Thank you for sharing all you did, Eric. I wish you and your family blessings and peace. It was an honor to know you just through your videos. May you rest in peace. Namaste.
Sita Gange
September 1, 2012
wendy chase
September 1, 2012
May God and the angels and saints comfort your family and friends in these hard times of the loss of Eric. For only hearing of Eric and his life, but knowing of people who encountered his life or Cari's, you will have the fond memories of this inspiring young man! I am so sorry for your loss... RIP
Jody Linsmeier Erdman
September 1, 2012
Godspeed Mike. I thank you, your wife and family for allowing us into you personal pain and triumph. I will never forget you.
Lin Marcos
August 31, 2012
Thank you Eric for sharing your story. You have touched the hearts of my family. We will continue to pray for your soul. We will pray for the healing and peace of your loved ones you left behind. May God bless you all.
A Ramirez
August 31, 2012
My Spmpathy goes out to Eric's family i didnt know him but...from what i read and seen he was a fighter and strong willed man very sweet kind loving caring person who all he knew expecally to him wife Cari whom i never meet either Eric you will all ways been in my heart an prayers your a gaurdian angle for your wife, mom,dad,brothers!!! YOU ARE A TRUE FIGHTER RIP eric!!!
Tracy Bradley
August 31, 2012

I found out today. I went to your youtube to check in on you and to see how you were doing, then found the link to your site where I saw the news first thing. I am so proud of you and everything that you did and accomplishe while you were fighting for your life. Thank you so much for your vidoes, for having the courage to share your journey with so many people. You are AMAZING. I know that you're soaring high in a better place. Rest in Peace. <3 To Carrie & The McLean Family - My heart & prayers are with you all.
danielle miller
August 31, 2012
I have been a follower of Eric's for years, reading his blog and keeping up with his fight against cancer. I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you all in my prayers and pray that Eric is at peace now in the presence of God.
Rachel A
August 31, 2012
We've known your kindess and courage since the day you gave my husband and I two of your "Live Strong" yellow bracelets. My husband was fighting prostrate cancer and I was rehabbing from ovarian & uterine cancer at that time. We wore them with pride and met so many other folks who we passed them on to for years. You did your remarkable best. Be at peace and rest in the palm of His hands.
Karen & Allan Flegle
August 31, 2012
We have never met, yet I feel like I have known you forever. You have touched the lives and hearts of everyone who knows your life story. You are an amazing person who will never be forgotten. RIP my friend.
Rita Zeinert
August 31, 2012
Our thoughts are with Ms Cari and all of Eric's family through this sad time
Dionne, Ari, Ava and Aidan Centner
August 31, 2012
To The McLean Family,
Please accept my heart felt condolences. I only know Eric from his blog and videos. He demonstrated that he was not going to squander a single moment of his life and he didn't. In Eric's final video, his love for his family, friends, co-workers and employer was conveyed to all of us and I could tell he loved all of you to bits. Eric is a true inspiration on how to live life even when dealt a bad hand. I know it doesn't help right now as you want Eric with you, and he should be with you but he is in a good place right now.
Elizabeth C.
August 30, 2012
My thoughts are with all of ur family. I lost my brother (23) in Iraqi..its a lost that's unimaginable..I feel Eric was a hero and his strength will live in all of you. God bless
Valerie Seal
August 30, 2012
Thank you God for sending us Eric McLean, as one of your sons, to teach us about the value of life and perseverance of living it. Sharing his life has changed many of our lives. To the McLean family, may Eric's life continue to bring you much more love and happiness. He is not gone. He lives in our thoughts and hearts.
R. Martinez
August 30, 2012
To Cari and Eric's whole family.
I too have followed Eric's fight front the first time he posted on you tube he touched my heart and soul, I found out 4 years ago I had breast cancer and have battle it ever sense. Eric show me how to live each day to the fullest and I very much thank him for that. Eric you will never be forgotten and will always be loved. God Bless you Eric and all my love and prays to Eric's family
Brad Wallace
August 30, 2012
Miss Cari, It has been a long fought battle for you standing by Eric's side. We pray that you will find comfort knowing you have a wonderful guardian angel to watch over you forever. Eric is in a beautiful place where there is no suffering, no pain, and no misery. We love you to the moon and back :)
Sarah & Ben Pickel & family
August 30, 2012
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