January 28, 2021
Whole Number 199
DEATH TAKES AUBREY L. McCLELLAN
L. & VIRGINIA (BREITHAUPT) McCLELLAN
It was with deep personal sadness, as well as shock, that your editor learned that Dr. Aubrey L. McClellan had died on August 20, 2002, at his home in El Cerrito, California, following a brief illness with cancer.
Dr. McClellan joined our Association In 1990 and soon thereafter offered his services, without remuneration, as a professional indexer. In the years following, he created two of our five-year indexes for the Quarterly, that for 1988-1992 (157 pages) and for 1993-1997 (201 pages). With his computer and a program called "Cindex," Aubrey was at work on a third index for the 1998-2002 Issues, expecting to complete It In 2003. He had finished (i.e., placed on computer disks) all the names of persons and places appearing in the first 32 Issues (1998-2001). His last letter to your editor, dated April 18, 2002, contained the lines: "I have now Indexed #196. Only 4 issues to go before the big consolidation Into the next 5-year index. Who knows if we will last for the next one. "
In addition to his beloved wife of 56 years, Virginia (Breithaupt) McClellan, left to mourn Aubrey's death are their two children, daughter Catherine Russo (with husband, Darryl Russo) of Las Vegas, Nevada, and son Ted McClellan (with wife, Melissa) of Albany, California; also grandson Jonah Parker McClellan, and brother Joe Brown McClellan. He also left a host of colleagues and friends fondly to remember him.
Aubrey L. McClellan was born In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, In 1923. His great-grandfather, WIlliam B. McClellan, an early Texas newspaper man, arrived in Austin, Texas, in the fall of 1839, just as the government. of the Republic of Texas was taking shape. Aubrey always considered himself a Texan. His Interest in the Sparks family was based on the marriage in Sullivan County, Tennessee, of his grand-aunt, Sarah L. McClellan, to Reuben H. Sparks. (See the Quarterly of December 1990, No. 152, pp.3683-85.)
An obituary of Aubrey L. McClellan, shared with us by Mrs. McClellan, provides a summary of his distinguished career. He received his B.S. degree from Centenary College In 1943 and his Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Texas in 1949. He served as a research chemist at Chevron Research In Richmond, California, from 1951 until his retirement In 1985. Aubrey was the author of several scientific books, most notably as a member of the CHEM Study Project, a national revision of the high school chemistry curriculum. His many interests and hobbies included genealogy, stamp collecting, playing clarinet In a Dixieland band; community theatre, and collecting books, maps, and prints of Venice. In 1990, he began a second career, creating Indexes for over 100 books.
Aubrey's interest In community theatre began at Contra Costa Civic Theatre in El Cerrito In 1980, where he was an actor, stage manager, master carpenter, set designer, producer, and member of the board of directors. He will be fondly remembered as a man who touched many and was truly Interested In the lives of all the people he knew. He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Timpson, a small town In East Texas where his parents had lived. A tribute at his memorial service included the observation from Shakespeare: "All the world's a stage... and one man In his time plays many parts. " We of the Sparks Family Association will always recall with gratitude that one of Aubrey's roles was as our indexer for eleven years.