John Hugh McGean

Friday, Aug. 04, 2017
John Hugh McGean + Enlarge
John Hugh McGean

Dec. 20, 1945 – May 22, 2017

Beloved John Hugh McGean departed on his next adventure May 22, 2017. He lived a life filled with joy and passion, cherishing his family, friends, photography, literature and music.

John was born Dec. 20, 1945 in Salt Lake City. He loved to remember a childhood of family gatherings and good friends. John attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School and the University of Utah, where many life long friendships were formed. After graduating with a degree in English in 1968, he began his teaching career at his alma mater, Judge Memorial. There he discovered a special talent for teaching English literature, and inspired and influenced students for over two decades. He loved to hear from his old students, many of whom stayed in contact with him over the years.

Later he moved into educational administration, first as principal of Judge Memorial, and later in the Vashon Island and Everett, Wash. school districts. Before retiring in Seattle in 2010, John was associated with the Small Schools Project, traveling to school districts to advise and encourage them in high school reform efforts. Throughout his career he remained a passionate advocate for education, and left a legacy of many students, teachers and administrators whom he guided and mentored.

John’s enthusiasm for life was infectious, as the many friends he drew toward him know well. He had a special gift for livening up any occasion, and a sense of humor that was by turns witty and silly. We will all miss his fun personality and optimistic, loving, generous spirit.

John valiantly held off cancer for nearly four years, continuing to travel and to amass an impressive photography portfolio that he shared on his blog.

He leaves behind his beloved wife and travel partner of 48 years, Melinda Black McGean. He is also survived by his two children, Michael (Lisa) McGean and Molly McGean; grandchildren Olivia and Grady; and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Patricia Best McGean, and his sister Patricia McGean Shaw.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Rainier Scholars program, His family wishes to thank Dr. Philip Gold, Alice and Peggy at the Swedish Cancer Institute for their care and guidance over the last 46 months.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 25. The memorial Mass will be at 4 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1375 E. Spring Lane, Salt Lake City. A reception will follow. Everyone from the Judge Memorial Catholic High School community is invited to attend.

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