ALEXANDRIA – Donald Paul McClead, 86, Alexandria, entered into eternal peace on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 from St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis after an extended illness.
Don was born on March 21, 1934 in Elwood to Paul and Hazel (Walker) McClead.
He was a graduate of Alexandria High School with the class of 1952. Don received both his BA and MA in Arts Education from Ball State University in Muncie.
He was employed at Pomeroy’s Department Store in Fort Wayne as the millinery manager from 1956-1957. He taught art at Northside High School in Fort Wayne from 1957 to 1973. He also taught night classes at Indiana/Purdue extension in Fort Wayne from 1960 to 1973. He was part owner and manager of Gallery One in Petoskey, Mich. from 1987 to 1999. During that time, he was owner/manager of Gallery Two in Alexandria from 1973 to 1990. He taught in the Frankton/Lapel Schools from 1979 to 1996.
Donald was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. The most meaningful times of his life were shared with precious family member and friends. His beloved son and daughter, Curt and Chella, brought great pleasure to him. He looked forward to their time together. The family spent every nice Sunday afternoon at the beach near their summer home. Many memories center around those days … overturned sailboats, lost glasses, purple lips from the cold water, digging in the sand for hours, eating sandy sandwiches, swimming and climbing the dunes. Later in life, Don and Jan traveled several times a year to North Carolina enjoying extended visits with Curt, Lora, Jordan and Blake. Don loved spending time with his grandsons making art projects, playing at the park, telling stories and just having fun. Don enjoyed many weekend visits with Chella, Jeff and his two grand puppies. He loved cookouts on the deck, playing cornhole in the yard, swimming in the pool and riding around looking at seasonal flowers or holiday lights.
Donald enjoyed all forms of art. At Fort Wayne Northside High School, he was part of a dynamic Fine Arts team of teachers including art, music and drama. These areas of fine arts blended his passion for art as well as his love of music which included him playing the violin. His MA degree from Ball State was in Theater Arts where he and another student established the Little Shoestring Theater as his degree creative project. The theater evolved into Ball State’s summer theater program.
During the time they lived in Bay View, Mich. he spent 12 summers building sets for the drama department performances. He also had parts in the shows Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma and Hello Dolly. Summers were a delight to Don as he was working in partnership with two other men at Gallery One. The gallery carried works of over 200 professional artists. After selling the Gallery, Don managed Toad Hall, a gift store in Petoskey. After retirement, Don and his late wife Janet “dressed” Mole Hole gift shops in Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
In 1973, the family decided to return to Alexandria to be close to relatives. He set up and opened Gallery Two on North Harrison Street. Don loved working in the arts in his hometown. IN 1979, he was offered a teaching position at Leach School in the Frankton/Lapel school system. A few years later, Don also taught at Lapel Elementary School. He was delighted to be back in the classroom, loving the challenge of opening little one’s eyes to the beauty of their creations.
Donald was a long-time member of the Alexandria First Baptist Church where he served as an usher for several terms, a member of the Worship Committee for 20 years, a member of the Building and Planning Committee for the new church erected in 1992 and on the same committee for the new Family Life Center a few years later. He also served on the Board of Trustees and was a charter member of the Tuesday Morning Men’s Coffee Cup Fellowship. He loved to serve his Lord in his own quiet but effective way.
He is survived his son, Curt (Lora) McClead of Roanoke; daughter, Chella (Jeff) Tedrow of Westfield; grandchildren, Jordan McClead of Fort Wayne and Blake (Peyton) McClead of Okatie, S.C.; nephew, Bill (Cathy) Kildow and their children Amber and Ryan, and Steve (Paulette) Kildow; niece, Karen (Butch) Richardson and their daughters, Paige Utterback and Layne Jackson; several great-nieces and great-nephews, great-great nieces and great-great nephews; and numerous cousins.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of 65 years, Janet (Curts) McClead who passed on Feb. 23, 2019; father-in-law and mother-in-law-Bill and Ruth Curts; sister-in-law, Billie Ruth Curts; sisters and brother-in-law, Betty Joyce McClead, Barbara and Bruce Kildow.
Due to the current Pandemic, a private family inurnment will take place at the Garden of Serenity Columbarium in Park View Cemetery in Alexandria.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Alexandria First Baptist Church, 2107 South Park Avenue, Alexandria, Ind. 46001, the Alexandria Emergency Relief Fund, 309 West Washington Street, Alexandria, Ind. 46001 or Church Street Commons, 204 West Church Street, Alexandria, Ind. 46001.
Mike and Connie Owens are honored to care for Don and serve the McClead family
On-line condolences: www.owensmemorialservices.com