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Claude C. "Mac" McRaven

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Colonel Claude C. "Mac" McRaven Colonel Claude C. "Mac" McRaven, 89, of San Antonio, Texas, passed away on Sunday, May 13, 2007. Mac, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Claude McRaven, was born in E. St. Louis, Ill and raised in Portageville, Mo. along with his sister Corrine and brother Al. In high school he lettered in track, baseball, basketball and football and became a hometown legend. Football, however, was his passion and it wasn't long before college scouts recognized his talent. Mac received a scholarship to Murray State Teachers College in Kentucky where he broke school records in running and receiving and was nicknamed "Seabiscuit" after the famous race horse. After college Bullet Bill McRaven was signed to a "lucrative" deal with the Cleveland Rams. He made $100 a game. To supplement this whopping income, he did Wheaties commercials, taught tennis, and was known to win a hand or two of poker. When World War II broke out, Mac and five of his football buddies drove to California and signed up with the Army Air Corps. He was sent to flight training at Brooke Field, San Antonio where he graduated in Flying Class 42 A. Shortly after graduation Mac was assigned to the 31st Pursuit Group in England where he flew British Spitfires in support of cross channel bomber missions. He also saw combat in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, and four European Campaign medals. Following the war, Mac was stationed in Victoria, Texas where on a blind date he met and eventually married Anna Elizabeth Long, from Grapeland, Texas. They had three children; Marianna, Nan and Bill. Anna and Mac were married 40 years, traveled the world and lived a very exciting life. Mac served in Formosa, France, and several stateside assignments eventually retiring in 1967 from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the city in which his career had begun 26 years earlier. Mac, worked a brief time for the San Antonio's Model Cities Program and then became the City's Labor Relations Negotiator. A cool hand under pressure, Mac was known for his ability to negotiate firmly and fairly with the local Police and Firefighters. After a particularly contentious round of negotiations, a union official was heard to comment, "I wouldn't want to play cards with Mac. He's got too good a poker face." After the passing of Anna, Mac and his dear friend Anne Holmstrom traveled, played golf, hunted and socialized. Anne and her children treated Mac like family, and they became an important part of his life. Mac was surrounded by friends from all walks of life. His home was rarely quiet and the McRavens were never without company. Visits from the grandchildren and their many friends, was always a special time for Mac who loved to treat the entire gang to breakfast at Jim's. Mac was the consummate story teller and he never let the truth stand in the way of good story. In the last years of his life, he lived at Parklane Nursing Home, where his sense of humor, story telling and love of people endeared him to the nursing staff. His witty "Mac'isms" kept everyone laughing and made the people around him feel better about life. He was blessed to have healthcare workers Marge Cruz and Will Davis who included him in many of their family activities and made sure he had the best of care. Mac was a part of the "Great Generation" who fought for our country, and he never lost that fighting spirit and love for life. He was a great husband, father, brother and friend. He adored his children and was proud of their achievements. His generosity, knowing smile and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his brother Dr. Alvin McRaven and his three children, Marianna Jacobs, Nan McRaven and Bill McRaven, and seven grandchildren. Visitation with the family will be 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Sunset Funeral Home. Memorial services will be Friday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. at Sunset Funeral Home Chapel, followed by interment at Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Fisher House Foundation (Brooke Army Medical), 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville, MD, 20852. To give words of comfort to the family go to www.mem.com Sunset Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78218
Published in Austin American-Statesman on May 16, 2007
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