Sue Spiers McLean


Sue Spiers McLean passed away peacefully on July 14 after a brief terminal illness.

She had enjoyed an active, vibrant life until just before her illness. Her loving family was fortunate to be with her for the last part of her life in hospice care.

Sue was born in Columbus, Ohio on March 16, 1931. She grew up in Ohio and New York while her father served in the Air Corps during World War II. She graduated from Batavia High School in Batavia, N.Y. and then Cornell University, where she majored in home economics. She was president of her 1952 college class, a member of Delta Gamma fraternity, and elected to the Cornell women’s honorary Raven & Serpent.

After graduating, Sue went to work as a program director for the YWCA in Erie, Pa. There she met her husband, Howard McLean, a young mechanical engineer at General Electric. They courted on Howard’s sailboat and were married in 1954.

Three children later, in 1962, the family moved to North Palm Beach. Howard, a native Floridian, was delighted to return to Florida to sail and work with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as a mechanical engineer designing rocket and jet engines. Sue was a long-time member of and elder in the First Presbyterian Church in North Palm Beach, where she sang alto in the choir, played handbells, and cooked for St. George’s Soup Kitchen. Sue enjoying rearing her children and being involved in their activities, serving as a Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher for many years. Long after her children were grown, she enjoyed helping with Vacation Bible School and her church’s Fun Arts Camp.

Sue was an active member of the AAUW and also enjoyed singing with the “Morning Glories,” a Christian musical group that ministers to folks living in nursing and retirement homes. Sue was proud to be a first-rate first mate on the family’s 30’ sailboat “Sunbird,” which Howard raced and which the family often took to cruise the Bahamas. She and Howard also enjoyed traveling all over the country and into Canada in their motor home.

Sue was an impeccable and gracious hostess. She loved having family and friends in her home and cooking for them. Sue had a keen eye for color and loved to make beautiful quilts. She also enjoyed swimming and riding her bicycle. An avid gardener, she could often be found early in the morning tending her garden.

Sue was predeceased by Howard, her beloved husband of more than 60 years. She is survived by her three children, Carol Ogilvie (Andy), Betsy Luehring (Bill), and Howard (“Mack”) McLean, Jr. (Teri); four grandchildren, Jenny Luehring, Caroline Angstadt (Ian), Ian McLean (Erin) and Scott McLean (Lena); and one great-granddaughter, Coralie McLean. She is also survived by her twin brother, Graham Spiers (Grace, who predeceased Sue by just a few days), and her younger brother Tom Spiers (Charlotte).A virtual memorial service will be held on Aug. 14, 2020. See, YouTube tab at top R corner of home page. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the First Presbyterian Church Christian Education Fund or its Music Fund, at 717 Prosperity Farms Road, North Palm Beach, FL 33408.

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