CAMDEN – Alan John McClelland, 87, died Saturday, May 8, 2010, of natural causes at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport. He was born Jan. 15, 1923, in Long Branch, N.J., the only child of Harold Mark McClelland and Doris Cruger (Mellersh) McClelland. Alan attended St. Albans School for boys in Washington, D.C, graduating in 1943. He was inducted into the Army Air Force in December 1942, where he was trained as a radar mechanic. His assignments as a ground control approach radar technician included Manila, Philippines, and Osaka, Japan. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, Alan enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va. On June 25, 1949, he married Eleanor Virginia Webbley in Watertown, Mass. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1950, Alan was offered a job at Gilfillan Brothers, Los Angeles. There he worked as an electronic engineering manager in the development of electronic countermeasure equipment. Alan and Eleanor’s son, John Alan McClelland, was born in 1952 in Pasadena, Calif. In 1961 Alan accepted a position with the Philco Corp. – renamed Ford Aerospace – Palo Alto, Calif., as an aerospace engineering manager. Alan’s team was responsible for preparing a successful proposal to design and construct the Mission Control Center for NASA. In 1963 Alan and his family relocated to Houston, Texas, where the Manned Spacecraft Center was under construction. His division continued to support the operation and maintenance of mission control center through the historic early years of the manned spaceflight program. After retirement in 1985, Alan and Eleanor moved to their beloved Camden, where they made many good friends. In 2009 they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. In addition to his fascination with electronics and aerospace, Alan had a lifelong passion for photography and the beautiful land and seascapes of coastal Maine provided him with much inspiration. During his retirement, Alan volunteered with Camden Rockport Animal Rescue League, served as a board member of Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, and served as an avid volunteer with Owls Head Transportation Museum. Alan and Eleanor became seasoned world travelers in their retirement completing trips to the Antarctic, Arctic, Africa, Europe, Alaska, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Alan is survived by his wife, Eleanor; son, John; and daughter-in-law, Ann. A celebration of life for family and friends will be held later this summer on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to make a contribution to their favorite charity in memory of Alan. Arrangements are with Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.
ALAN J. MCCLELLAND
Posted May 23, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.