Robert Sutherland McLean ’75
Robert Sutherland McLean was born May 29, 1953 and died June 29, 2012. A fifth generation son of a pioneer Washington family, he was descended from Sutherland McLean, founder of the Seattle real estate and insurance firm, Sparkman and McLean Company that originated in 1891.
Rob attended elementary schools in Bellevue, WA; Morristown, NJ; Arcadia, CA; and attended junior and senior high school in Enumclaw WA. He was the Enumclaw High School Boys State representative. He participated on the cross country and track teams and was the Letterman’s Club president during his senior year. He held the Enumclaw High School track record in the high jump at 6’4″ for 20 years. After high school, Rob attended the University of Washington where he affiliated with Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and later graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he excelled as a decathlete on the UCSB Track team. He was a life member of Clan Maclean Association in Glasgow, Scotland and the Clan Maclean Pacific NW Branch.
During his lifetime, Rob had several different diverse careers, including teaching, graphic design and real estate. He reached his greatest success as a real estate agent and entrepreneur, both in Southern CA and in WA. But, he always said that it was his time spent teaching in CA and as a camp counselor in WA and HI that had truly enriched his soul. In 1990 Rob moved back to the Pacific NW where he affiliated with Lake & Company Real Estate near Green Lake in Seattle.
Over the past several years, Rob and his wife Cindy have made their residence on Queen Anne in Seattle and have enjoyed a second home in Palm Desert, CA during the winter. It was during those winters that he became an accomplished golfer. Rob loved the game and was a dedicated 8-year member of Shadow Mt Golf Club in Palm Desert, CA, where he continued to shoot in the high 60’s and 70’s until his illness made it impossible for him to continue to play the game. He was also an avid fan of the Mariners, Huskies and former Seattle Sonics.
He is predeceased by his parents, Sutherland Baxter McLean and Pauline Lewis McLean and his sister, Mary Kay McLean Winter. He is survived by his loving wife, Cindy McLean; brother Walter McLean and his wife Marsha; sister Laurie McLean Pedack and her husband Pete; Claire Winter and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He will be sadly missed.
Published in The Seattle Times from July 3 to July 6, 2012
Comment by John Flower ’73
Rob was a member of the Class of ’75. He was a great athlete and more importantly, a really nice guy. He was the son of Sutherland “Suds” McLean, He did really well in the decathalon. I stayed in touch with him as we had a lot in common through track. I used to run with Rob and Rick Albright, my class, ’73 who was the state 800 meter champion but I was nowhere in their league. At some occasions, Rich Mesmer, ’70 who held the U.S. high school record for 800 meters for a few years joined us for runs. Needless to say, I was totally outclassed. They were kind to me! Rob was a good guy who will be missed.