George Raymond MacClanahan Jr.

Posted: Friday, October 01, 2010

George Raymond MacClanahan Jr, 85, passed away at the Veterans Home of California on Sept. 21, where he and his wife Mary have lived for 14 years.

He was born to George and Caroline (MacDonald) MacClanahan in Sacramento, Calif., July 29, 1925.

George Jr. joined the Marine Corps on Dec. 8, 1941, serving with the Second Raider Battalion as one of Carlson's Raiders during the Battle of Guadalcanal. He also served in New Caledonia and Kyushu, Japan. He lived in Juneau and worked as commissioner of the Department of Public Works from 1968-1969 under Gov. Wally Hickel.

His life's passion was "to discover what was on the other side of the mountain," so his adventurous spirit and curious mind led him to faraway places like Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, and, along with his wife Mary, to the territory of Alaska in 1950. There he pursued such adventures as surveying with the Alaska Road Commission, acquiring a civil engineering degree from the University of Alaska and managing Burgess Construction Company (which was involved in the first phase of the Alaskan oil pipeline development at Prudhoe Bay). He also owned his own construction company and later moved to California where he partnered with his son, Ray, in a variety of construction projects. Lastly, he became a construction management consultant before entering the Veterans Home in 1996.

George gave back to the Veterans Home of California in many ways, sharing his expertise and acumen to make things better. In particular, he served as allied council delegate from Section L, and helped to ensure the future viability of the home's Morale Welfare and Recreation Fund as a special advisor to the chairman. He also served in the member help office, creating meaningful opportunities for his fellow members to participate in and use their talents to support the operations of the Home.

In his final years he authored two autobiographies: Homestead, about his early years during the Great Depression, and Tojo and Me, about his years as a Marine Raider, including his experience during The Long Patrol.

George was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Elsie Jane, and brothers, John and Bill. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary, son Ray (Terry) MacClanahan of Plymouth, Calif., and daughters Marjorie (Gary) Rose of Yountville, Calif., and Anne (Bill) Barrett of Peyton, Colo., plus 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He is currently enjoying the greatest adventure, having accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior the day after his 84th birthday last year.

Arrangements were cared for by Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel. He will be interred at the Veterans Home Cemetery.

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