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WAYNESVILLE — Ray William McLean, 87, passed away on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, at Smoky Mountain Health and Rehabilitation Center.

A native of Swain County, he was the son of the late Claude and Emma Hyatt McLean. Ray served his country in the National Guard during the Korean War. After his time in the military, Ray spent much of his career in mechanical engineering — aeronautics with Martin Marietta Corp prior to owning his own computer corporation in Washington, D.C. (later Waynesville) specializing in data processing.

A passion developed well into Ray’s retirement when he began to volunteer with the Haywood County foster program. For 12 years he invested his time, energy and love into the lives of his foster children.

It was his desire to create relationships that last a lifetime, founded on compassion and trust. Ray was a keystone, a constant in his family and will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Christy McLean, of Waynesville; a daughter, Katy McLean Gould, and her husband, Adam, of Waynesville; a son, James McLean, and his wife, Cathy of Houston, Texas; two sisters, Helen Willett, and her husband, the late Rev. Wayne Willett, of Waynesville and Doris Coffey, and her husband, Mitch, of Warrenton, Virginia; and three grandchildren, Elizabeth Gould, Connor and Kevin McLean.

A time to remember and celebrate Ray’s life will take place Thursday, Aug. 8, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Wells Events and Reception Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to KARE, P.O. Box 1392, Waynesville, NC 28786 or Haywood Healthcare Foundation (Hospice in memo line of check to apply funds to hospice) c/o 262 Leroy George Drive, Clyde, NC 28721.

The care of Mr. McLean has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

To plant a tree in memory of Ray McLean as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.
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