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Officer served community on many levels

| Saturday, June 12, 2004

Byron McLean was always ready to mentor young North Fayette police officers.

"Of course, when Byron took me under his wing when I first joined the North Fayette Police Department, he never thought I'd be marrying his daughter," said Mike Hamm, who is still on the force. "We got along just fine."

Byron L. McLean Sr., a North Fayette Township supervisor and a retired police lieutenant, died of a heart attack on Thursday, June 10, 2004, at UPMC Passavant, McCandless. He was 57.

"Every young officer looked forward to working with Byron," Hamm said. "He was knowledgeable, fair and not afraid to make decisions. He was well-liked by the community and this past year they elected him a township supervisor."

Hamm recalled his father-in-law's commitment to the community. "Byron was a Mason and a member of the North Fayette Lions Club. He was involved with many of the club's fund-raisers for the visually impaired."

Raised in Oakdale, Mr. McLean was one of three children of Walter D. and Ann E. McLean. The elder McLean operated the McLean Gulf Service Station in Oakdale, where young Byron pumped gas while attending West Allegheny High School.

In 1965, following graduation from high school, Mr. McLean was employed as a bus driver with the Port Authority of Allegheny County, then joined the Oakdale Police Department.

Upon completing classes at the Pittsburgh Police Academy in 1977, Mr. McLean joined the North Fayette Police Department. He retired in 2002.

Later, Mr. McLean utilized his experience as a police officer in his job with the Monarch Student Transportation Co., where he monitored all aspects of transportation of students.

Mr. McLean was on the Oakdale force when he met Terri Klimas, who was working as a waitress at the Oakdale Diner. "It was love at first sight," she said. "He was not only good looking, but a kind and caring man. We were married in 1976."

In 1986, the McLeans purchased Hunner's Deli in the Sturgeon section of North Fayette. Mrs. McLean did the preparation and cooking, and Mr. McLean was the handyman and often made deliveries after finishing his police shift. All the McLean children worked there.

"Jessica, who is 17 years old, is the last McLean sibling to be working at the diner," Hamm said.

Mr. McLean is survived by his wife, Teresa Klimas McLean; two sons, Byron L. McLean Jr., of McDonald, and Joseph McLean, of Delaware; three daughters, Tina Williams, of McDonald, Stephanie Hamm, of Noblestown, and Jessica McLean, at home; seven grandchildren; and two brothers, Donald W. McLean, of Oakdale, and Kim S. McLean, of Florida.

Mr. McLean was predeceased by a son, Matthew McLean.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today and noon to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Thomas-Little Funeral Home Inc., 314 W. Lincoln Ave., McDonald, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, with the Rev. Mike Downey officiating. Interment will be in Oakdale Cemetery.

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