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Joseph McClain, Former Staff

Joseph Leroy McClain, age 78, of Mount Vernon, IA, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Barbara; child, Wendy Jo McClain; and grandchild, Noelle Aleksandra McClain, all of Mount Vernon; sister, Rosalie Schmidt of Upper Sandusky, Ohio; sister-in-law, Lillian McClain; and many nephews and nieces. They have all made him proud.

Joe was born on December 5, 1938 on a farm near Upper Sandusky, to Roy and Ruth (Grundistch) McClain. He graduated from the Upper Sandusky School System and attended Ohio State University (and was Aan avid fan of the Buckeyes to the end). He was called to serve in the United States Army Second Special Forces (Green Beret) from 1962-1968. He married Barbara Elizabeth Fay in Cleveland, OH in March 1963.

Joe's extensive work history included time as the Assistant Manager at Kroger Grocery, Crestline, OH; Food Service Manager at Oberlin College and Food Service Director at Antioch College Northwestern University, St. Ambrose College (IA) and Cornell College in Mount Vernon.

In addition, he was the owner of Joe's International Airport of Mount Vernon from 1976-2002. Joe was also proud of the favorable influence and training he provided for many college students throughout his career.

Joe volunteered as a Mount Vernon firefighter for ten years. He also served on the Board of Directors for Hillcrest Golf and Country Club and Chapel View Manor. He enjoyed his time playing poker, on the golf course, and especially in his huge garden.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Edwin, Richard, and Frank McClain; and sister, Marilyn McClain. Memorials may be directed to the Joe McClain Memorial Fund at Cornell College or a charity of your choice. Please share your support and memories with Joe's family on his tribute wall at