“He stopped loving her today…” on Nov. 5, 2018, James “Mac” McClure quietly embarked on a new adventure after 54 loving years with Nancy.
Mac was born in Long beach, Calif. He lived in Long Beach, Lakewood and Anaheim until he was 17 when his life really began. At 17 he enlisted in the United States Navy. The next day he found himself on a bus to San Diego Boot Camp followed by orders to an Admiral’s Staff. He excelled under the structure and paved his way to USN Second Class Quartermaster under the Admiral’s Staff on Commander Carrier Division Seven and was the leading Quartermaster for the staff. He took great pride in navigating Naval Air Craft carriers using celestial objects, land markers, chart displays, fundamental mathematics and human intuition. His sextant took him to Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, China, Guam, Vietnam, Cambodia, the coast of Russia and Hawaii. He loved every country he was fortunate enough to visit on the USS Midway, USS Ticonderoga, USS Ranger, USS Nimitz and USS Kitty Hawk.
His favorite commanding officer was Three-Star Top Gun Admiral Thomas Connolly who was famously known for designing and developing his namesake, the F-14 Tomcat. Admiral Connolly and Mac developed a respectful partnership and friendship. “Tomcat” fulfilled Mac’s lifelong quest by allowing Mac to fly in his fighter jet during training exercises off naval aircraft carriers.
After four years he was Honorably Discharged at Treasure Island, Calif. Later that year he married his sweetheart, Nancy Rena Frey of Santa Rosa, Calif., who went through their married life hand in hand. She never let their hearts get very far away. The next three years he worked as a warehouseman and truck driver for a tile company in Oakland.
Mac reenlisted for two years in the Navy during the Vietnam War because he felt he needed to do his part for his country. Mac was fiercely patriotic. During this time he was on a survey ship and was involved in surveying the ocean floor to later lay hydrophones that were able to locate submarines underway in the oceans. Mac had many other duties including: Ship’s Chief Master at Arms, Assistant Navigator and Leading Quartermaster, Operations Leading Petty Officer, Career Retention Officer to name a few. He served on the USS Peregrine and USS Ute. During this time, Jamie Allison was born. Mac was Honorably Discharged as USN First Class Quartermaster.
Mac went to work for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy for ten years. He was proud of his felony busts using intuitive skills, observation and stakeout patience. Mac received many pistol shooting competition awards during his career in the police force. Also during this time, he earned his private pilot’s license, a commercial pilot’s license and instrument rating. Owning a Mooney Mk 20A plane was Mac’s everything. It provided him with many hours of flying fun. Between felony busts and flying, his second daughter, Stephanie Ann, was born. He later moved his family to Hailey, ID where he was a Deputy Sheriff.
In typical Mac fashion, he decided his next adventure was moving to Montana where he and Nancy owned and operated a grocery store on Toole Avenue which was some of the family’s best times. Later they moved and purchased a grocery store in Pablo.
Mac felt the walls closing in so he sold the store, bought an 18-wheeler and spent the next 25 years driving and hauling flatbed freight and visited 49 states and Canada. He amassed more than 3.25 million miles. He later went to work for Lake County Road Department until he retired in 2012. Since then he was doing just what he always wanted to do…being a bum!
Mac had strong integrity, strong core values, strong principles and a strong work ethic. While a serious and quiet person, he loved telling stories and sharing laughter with his friends. He loved his country, loved Fox News, loved George Jones and loved classical music.
He was always tinkering and working on some project and often those projects resulted in hospital visits. We always managed through the crisis and laughed after (much later). Mac never met a tuna fish can or coffee can that he couldn’t find some use for in his shop. If you have a need for a tuna fish can, coffee can or 1960s baby food jars – stop by, there are plenty to pass along.
Mac ultimately died from complications of Progressive Bulbar Palsy. Special thanks to Dr. Rausch and KRH Home Options (Rochelle and Shannon).
Mac joins his Dad, Mom, beautiful baby sister Marta, Elmer and Nadine Frey and Felix Kemp. Those left missing him are his wife, Nancy, his faithful companion, Danny, daughter Jamie and her family (Adrian, Jordan, Brynn, Grayson, Madeline, Reece and Emilee), daughter Stephanie and her family (Honor America and American Valor), Burke and Carole McClure, Mary Inglis, Don Mowery, Shirley Kemp and nieces and nephews.
Danny, Honor and Valor await their next bumper throw and “Let’s go.”
Internment will occur at Santa Rosa Memorial Park, Santa Rosa, California. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.thelakefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.
Over 54 years, Mac and Nancy had many adventures together in California, Idaho and Montana and made lifelong friends with many people. On his behalf, thank you for your friendships, laughter and memories.
Mac always said that he would not miss any of life’s things but would miss the most important thing...memories.
We will forever miss your beautiful blue eyes.
“He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath on his door
And soon they’ll carry him away
He stopped loving her today”
George Jones ~ 1980