John Patrick McClary – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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John Patrick McClary, 59, died Wednesday morning at home after losing his courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family and close friends who were supportive and saw him through his ordeal to the end.

John will forever be remembered as the “good” son devoted to his parents, a loving brother, and a loyal and generous friend to all who were blessed with his friendship.

He was preceeded in death by his father, William T. McClary in 1997 and his mother, Aida M. McClary in 2011. John is survived by his brother, William T. McClary Jr. and his wife, Mary, and their son, (John’s nephew) Taylor McClary of Anchorage, Alaska, his sister Anna Aida McClary and her daughter, Deanna (John’s niece) Smith, Deanna’s husband, Derek Smith and great- niece, Sophie, great- nephews, Derek Scott and Shane, all of Huntsville, close beloved friends, Elizabeth Stephens Hales, Christopher David Holt, and numerous cousins residing in South Carolina.

John was a proud “military brat” having embarked on his incredible journey with his birth on December 27th, 1953 at Fort Ord, California…He was the best Christmas present that his older brother, Bill, age four at the time, and sister, Ann, age two, could have hoped for. He was always the “baby brother” and at times royal pain, however very much loved and to be forever missed.

He was worldly in a sense, having spent his formative years in Yokohama, Japan, Paris, France, Frankfort, Germany, and stateside at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Hood, Texas, Huntsville, and ultimately, Decatur. You could never meet a more unassuming, down-to-earth, friendly and caring person.

John graduated from Huntsville High School in 1971 and attended the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He took a “leap of faith” when he rode with his brother, Bill, to the “Last Frontier” Alaska in 1978. He promised Bill that he’d give it at least one year…He kept his promise and returned to Alabama to pursue his education.

John served in the military twice. He enrolled in the Marine Corps proudly serving from 1972 and honorably discharged in 1976 having achieved the rank of staff sergeant. He entered the Army in 1989 and proudly served in the Army Reserves until his honorable discharge in 1996. Throughout his service to his country, John earned numerous medals and citations, some twice like the Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Award, Army Service Ribbon, Oversees Service Medal and Sharpshooter Medals. John was an Honor Graduate and member of the Missile and Munitions School 270 Club.

At the time of his death, he had worked as an electrician for 18 years with Decatur City School District. He loved his job and the people he worked with. He was fiercely loyal to them and in turn was loved and respected by his peers.

John loved Saturday’s best, especially when he could watch his beloved Alabama football on TV.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley in Decatur who cared for him and made him comfortable during his final days. We extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude to them. Flowers may be sent to Ridout’s Brown-Service Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, October 13th at Central United Methodist Church in Decatur.

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