Obituary: Ronald A. “Sandy” McLean Jr., 92, formerly of Wilton

Sandy McLean
Sandy McLean

Sandy McLean, 92, passed away on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, after a short illness.

He was born in Danbury, Connecticut in 1925, where he spent his youth there. His father was involved with the family’s department store, which his brother, Jock, continued after graduating from college.

He attended Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, MA for two years, and then received his BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He headed off to NYC to pursue his desire to be in the advertising business.

His career included General Electric, J. Walter Thompson and Young and Rubicam, during the heyday of the “mad men” era. He moved to their California office in Los Angeles and later opened offices in both San Francisco and San Diego. His advertising career ended in SF as president and co-owner of his own agency, McLean-Stewart Advertising Inc.

While at Wesleyan, his Deke fraternity housemate, Johnny Phillips became engaged and he was asked to be an usher. At this wedding, he met his future wife, Gretchen “Dutchie” Phillips. She was attending Wellesley, and graduated in 1948 when they married. They moved to Wilton, Dutchie’s roommate, Connie Tate, lived here. They raised a family and became part of the community. He was always involved with his church and in later years, the Kiwanis Club. Golf was always his sport of choice during the summer and skiing, the winter passion.

After their time on the West Coast, Sandy and Dutchie moved back to Wilton before heading off on their adventure in Sri Lanka, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia. He was involved with the International Executive Service Corp., which helps developing countries with the experience of the executive volunteers. He loved this part of his life.

After losing his wife in 2006 to multiple myeloma, he was introduced to his beloved companion of almost 10 years by their children. He moved to San Marino, California to be with Betty Medearis, and they enjoyed their blended family and extensive traveling.

Besides leaving his life partner, Betty, he leaves two children, his daughter, Lissa “Kimi” Hardej of Hull, MA and his son, Ronald “Scot” McLean III, of Hawthorne, CA. He had four grandchildren, AJ and Emily Hardej, and Taylor and Ultan McLean.

There is memorial service at the Wilton Congregational Church on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 3 p.m.

All are welcome.