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Gilbert Valdee "Dee" McLean

2022-12-29

Gilbert Valdee “Dee” McLean 92 years of age passed away on December 29, 2022, at the Warner Hospice Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

He was born on December 9, 1930, to the late Nolan J. McLean and Nora P. Burkett McLean. He grew up in Waycross, Ga. and went to school during his formative years in Ware County, Ga. He later completed his G.E.D. after serving in the military. He also completed education classes and training in electrical and mechanics.

Dee served in the military United States Navy for 4 years and spent his 18th birthday aboard the U.S.S. Bayfield APA-33 during the Korean war. He was proud and honored to serve and help protect the United States of America.

He married Reba R. Harris on August 7, 1954. They were married for 67 years. During their marriage they had two children: Steven V. McLean and Peggy Theresa McLean. His loving wife recently preceded him in death on July 29, 2022.

After completing 4 years in the navy and getting married he went to work for the City of Jacksonville Power Plant on Talleyrand Ave. He was very accomplished in auto / truck and diesel mechanics and learned electrical, plumbing, and construction. After completing additional training in diesel mechanics in St. Louis, MO he returned to the City of Jacksonville where he worked in the Motor Pool Division for over 2 decades as a mechanic and a “heavy equipment” mechanic.

Dee enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, farming, reading westerns, and always tinkering on something mechanical. He enjoyed watching or reading a good western classic; especially those written by Louis L’Amour. He also enjoyed cheering on his favorite baseball team “Atlanta Braves”. He enjoyed eating good food, and his favorite was seafood.

He had a wonderful smile and laugh. He was always welcoming family and friends into his home and made sure there was something to eat for them and a place to sleep even if he had to give up his own bed. More than a gift of hospitality he had a gift of “Visitation”. He would go to family and friend’s homes and check up on them to see if they were okay or needed anything. Even when he was logistically or physically unable to visit, he would pick up the telephone and give them a call to make sure they were doing okay, and to let them know he was thinking about them and loved them. He was very genuine and had a deep concern for his entire family.

His children remember him as a loving, hard-working father. He always encouraged his children to pursue an education. He taught them to be loving, kind, and respectful. To cherish their mother, and to love God.
He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren and when he first became a grandfather “Papa” his whole world changed! He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren dearly and taught them many things, and shared lots of stories with them.

He was an active member of Lighthouse Tabernacle church. He Loved the Lord Jesus Christ with his whole heart!

Preceding him in death are his parents, Nolan and Nora McLean, sister, Gloria Stapleton, and loving wife, Reba McLean.

He leaves behind a son, Steven V. McLean “Steve” of St. Petersburg, Fl.; daughter, Theresa Moore (Butch) of Fernandina Beach, Fl.; He is also, survived by grandchildren Brandy Harvey, Ryan Stephens (Lexi), Laura McLean, Katie McLean and Steven McLean. He is also survived by 4 great grandchildren, Ashlei Heffernan, Tyler Heffernan, Eathin Heffernan and Everly Stephens. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at the Oxley Heard Funeral Home Chapel in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

His immediate family will receive other family and friends from 10:00 a.m. until the hour of service at 11:00a.m. at the Oxley Heard Funeral Home Chapel in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

He will be laid to rest at the Burkett Cemetery, in West Green, Georgia.

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