Monte McLean

Obituary of Monte Gail McLean

Monte G. McLean, 89, passed peacefully at home with his family by his side on September 17, 2023.

Monte was born at Bass Lake, CA on July 6, 1934 to Fred and Doris McLean.  He grew up in Fresno and Los Altos, graduating from Mountainview Union High School.

In 1953, at the age of 19, Monte began his aviation career in the United States Air Force.  By the age of 25, he had become an Aircraft Commander and flew over 6,600 accident-free hours.

Monte met his first love through a blind date.  He married Patricia C. Donovan on April 27, 1957 and they had 4 fine children.  He was a dedicated husband and a great provider to his wife and children.

Because of his career, Monte and his family travelled from Nebraska to Japan, to Delaware and finally settled down here in Fort Walton Beach, FL in 1970.  He retired as a Major in 1973.

Soon after his retirement from his Military career, he went on to dabble in construction, real estate, establishing his own business of Arctic AC/Heating and Appliances.

He loved water and anything water related-boating, scuba diving, shrimping, fishing, crabbing and catching lobsters with his son, John.  He taught all of his children how to water ski.  Monte also loved hunting with his sons and relatives and also skeet shooting, winning many awards in skeet shooting competitions.

Monte's greatest love was flying.  His love for flying never waned and after many other projects, he built his first experimental aircraft, the KR2.  After over 600 hours flying time, he built his second airplane, the Glasair 1, flying himself and his wife all over the United States, visiting family and friends.  His children and grandchildren also have many fond memories of flying with him.

Monte was a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), Order of the Daedalians, and also a Quiet Bird member.  He had flown well over 100 "Young Eagles" and hoped he inspired his many young friends, who were most likely taking their first flights.  He bought a Glasair 3 and between all his time in and out of the service, he accumulated well over 13,000 accident-free hours.

After the death of his first wife of 41 years in 1998, he was set up on a blind date.  He spent a couple hours with her and knew right away that Nettie Mae Craig was perfect for him.  With their marriage on February 8, 2000, Monte gained 3 adult step-children and a young step-granddaughter.  He and Nettie flew around the country, including Canada, also visiting friends and family.  They enjoyed their condo and rented it out to many people who enjoyed our beaches and beautiful emerald waters.  It was their joy to be able to share their "little piece of paradise" with others!  As his flying days were drawing to a close, Monte and Nettie traveled around in their RV, visiting many parks and "must see" destinations.  They enjoyed 23 delightful years together until Nettie passed away in April of 2023.

Monte is preceded in death by his parents, Fred McLean; mother, Doris Van Vleck; brother, Fred McLean; first wife, Patricia; second wife, Nettie, and step-daughter-in-law, Annie Craig.

He is survived by his children, William McLean (Shari), Debra Laws (Kevin), Susan McLean, and John McLean (Nancy); step-sons, Charles Craig, William "Doug" Craig, and Frank Craig; grandchildren, Patricia Reimer (Nic), Jason McLean, Joseph "Ryan" Majors, and Donovan McLean; step-granddaughters, Rachel Craig and Jennifer Williams (Richard); and many nieces and nephews.

Special mention of Joseph "Joe" Majors, father of Trish and Ryan for his continued friendship with Monte over the years.

Monte McLean will be laid to rest at Barrancas National Cemetery on October 5, 2023, with full Military honors at 11:30 AM.


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