Donald Edward McLean, age 97, passed at Northcrest Community, Ames, Iowa on April 2, 2021, with his loving wife by his side. A gathering of friends and family will be 2-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa. A celebration of life will be 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 19, at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1416 N. 20th Street, Ames, Iowa. Burial will take place at Ames Municipal Cemetery.
Don was born in Sioux City, Iowa on January 10, 1924, the son of James Calvin and Nellie Mae McLean. He received his education in the public schools of Sioux City. He received his Engineering Degree from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Don served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, first as an Aviation Machinist Mate and later as an Officer. Upon discharge from the Navy, he started a job with the Board of County Road Commission in Wayne County, Michigan in the Detroit area. When an opportunity presented itself, he returned to Iowa as County Engineer in Sac County. He then worked for the Associated General Contractors of Iowa and superintendent for a construction firm. He joined the staff at Iowa State Highway Commission, now Iowa Department of Transportation, in 1953. His work with the Highway Commission was largely in the area of design and administration, which coincided with the design and construction of the Interstate Highway System. Don retired as Director of Highways/Chief Engineer in 1982, where he was devoted and committed to his work.
Don was an avid reader and recited Robert Service poetry by memory along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and other readings.
Don married Nancy Groomes April 15, 1972 in Knoxville, Iowa. After retirement he and Nancy traveled extensively throughout the United States spending the winters in the Mesa, Arizona area. He and Nancy also enjoyed traveling through Europe, sailing, and spending time on the golf course. Don was a member of the America Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Don was a 50-year member of Waveland A.F. & A.M. # 654 in Des Moines and a 50-year member of the Za Ga Zig Shrine of Des Moines. Don was a charter member of The Northminster Presbyterian Church of Ames.
Don is survived by his wife, Nancy McLean, daughter Leslee (Mike) Jordan, an estranged daughter, Judy Parks, 6 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and close nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Merry Lynne Iverson in 1988, and brother Robert McLean.
Nancy would like to thank Northcrest Community for all their support and care they have given Don and herself.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Nancy McLean, 1801 20th Street B12, Ames, Iowa 50010. Memorial contributions in honor of Don may also be directed to the Northcrest Foundation, 1801 20th Street, Ames, Iowa 50010.