James McLean

James McLean

Wednesday, August 1st, 1934 Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

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Obituary for James Hammond McLean

James Hammond McLean (Jim), 85, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., is now at rest with the Lord. Jim is reunited with his beloved wife of 64 years, Ruth Anne McLean, who predeceased him by five weeks.

Jim is survived by his two sons, Stephen and Douglas McLean; three grandchildren, Stephen McLean, Jr., Jaclyn Bassett, and Holly McLean; and seven great grandchildren, Evelyn, John, Cate, and Julie McLean, and Declan, Carolina and Mackenzie Bassett. Jim is also survived by his daughter-in-law Aimee McLean, granddaughter-in-law, Sarah McLean, and grandson-in-law Timothy Bassett. Jim was devoted to his wife and their family. His passing to eternal glory occurred peacefully in Valley Hospital holding the hand of his son, Douglas, as Aimee and Steve looked on virtually while holding him in spirit. Earlier in the day Jim had been surrounded virtually by the love of each child, grandchild and great-grandchild. He mustered just enough strength for one last wave good-bye to his great grandchildren.

Jim was born in Bronxville, New York in 1934 to Evelyn and Alexander McLean. He had two older sisters, the late Ruth Harned and the late Barbara Dunker. Growing up during the latter days of the depression and World War II, Jim never was without a job: paperboy, store clerk, delivery boy, manufacturing worker. He graduated from Roosevelt High School. After a year of college at the University of Miami, he enlisted in the Army Signal Corps in order to gain access to the GI Bill to help pay for the completion of his college degree. Prior to his posting to Thule, Greenland he met Ruth Anne Laurentz at the Pondfield House restaurant in Bronxville. It was the beginning of a 65-year love affair. Within six months, they became engaged and eloped shortly before Jim began his tour of duty. He supplemented his GI salary by applying his skills amidst the frozen tundra to both 5 card and 7 card stud.

After the Army, Jim returned to college at the University of Maryland until the birth of the couple’s first son necessitated Jim’s completion of college at night school so that he could work full time during the day. Three years later he graduated with an Accounting Degree from Iona College.

Jim worked in accounting, financial planning and treasury functions for several New York and Newtown, PA based companies including Marine Transport, St. Joe Led, AMAX, Freeport Minerals and Thiokol.

Ruth Anne and Jim raised their family in Yonkers, NY and Levittown, PA. Jim was a supportive presence in the lives and community of his sons. He coached Yonkers little league and was a Bronxville Scout Master. Jim was a gentle giant of a man who could hit a softball farther than any other little league coach or scoutmaster, make a mean stew and chop wood like Paul Bunyan. His love of nature was a blessed gift and legacy to us all.

Jim and Ruth Anne moved to Midland Park and then Franklin Lakes to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. Known lovingly as “G and G” by their grandkids, they never missed a soccer game, dance recital, play, or even a pick up or drop off. He perpetuated the family allegiance to the New York Yankees, swimming and the Hardy Boys book series. They loved their occasional trips to the land down under to visit Douglas who moved to Australia in 1986 became an Australian citizen in 1992. Jim continued to do consulting work after the move.

Jim and Ruth Anne were devoted members of Hawthorne Gospel Church. He was a member of the Gideons. They loved Christ and shared their faith, passing it on to all whom they knew.

As Ruth Anne’s medical challenges mounted, Jim was ever at her side devoted to her recovery and convalescence. During her stays for surgery at Valley Hospital and Christian Healthcare Center, Jim became a familiar presence, himself requiring at first one cane, then two, then a walker, but always there whatever the time, with a perpetually cheery attitude and warm smile to help the woman he loved so dearly.

His beautiful, deep resonant voice was a cherished way to start every birthday as Jim and Ruth Anne would make it a point to be the first to call and sing. The Gentle Giant was a sterling role model of hard work, devotion to family and self-sacrifice.

While all are happy that with the couple reunited, the 65-year love affair has resumed for eternity, Grandpa Jim is forever loved and desperately missed by those left behind.

in lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Jim's memory to The Christian Health Care Center, 301 Sicomac Ave, Wyckoff, NJ 07481 or Franklin Lakes Ambulance Corps, PO BOX 302, Franklin Lakes, NJ
07417 or Franklin Lakes PBA Local 150, 490 De Korte Dr, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

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Jeff Strauss

Steve and Doug,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

The Strauss Family
Comment | Posted at 02:21pm via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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