May 10, 2019

Cathleen Horak “Cathy” McLean, age 96, passed away peacefully at Carolina Village, Hendersonville, North Carolina, on May 10th, 2019 surrounded by her family.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Elizabeth Horak and her husband, John C. McLean.

Cathy’s experiences over her 96 years included growing up during the depression in Cincinnati, Ohio; supporting the WWII effort working in the Army’s Ordnance Department doing secretarial work for her soon to be husband John; moving to Horse Shoe, North Carolina in 1948 and starting a dairy farm; working at the new G.E. Lighting as the secretary to the Manager of Finance; and raising her three children.  Cathy was a lifelong learner, and quick to adopt new technologies, moving easily from the typewriter to the computer, and then to Alexa.  Cathy was a talented homemaker, who loved cooking, sewing, and crafts.  Cathy was involved in the community supporting 4-H, Lions Club and their church, the United Methodist Church of Mills River.  Cathy also enjoyed spending time with family and friends, traveling, puzzles and playing bridge. Cathy was a devoted wife, mom, grandmother, great grand mother, sister and friend.

Cathy is survived by her three children: Robert M. McLean and his wife, Judy of Mills River; Judy M. Groff and her husband, Don, of Mills River; Penni M. Conner and her husband, Nick of Medfield, Massachusetts. Her grandchildren: Mike McLean, Jenny McLean, Johnny McLean, Elizabeth Groff, and McLean and Tyler Conner; her great grandson, Malcom McLean, one brother: Richard Horak and his wife Kay of Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The Celebration of Life service will be held on June 1st, 2019 at 11:30 am in the Magnolia room of Carolina Village, Hendersonville, North Carolina.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the NC Agricultural Foundation designated for the John C. and Cathy H. McLean Memorial 4-H Scholarship, NC State University, Campus Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695, or online at This fund was established 20 years ago and continues to provide scholarships to North Carolina State University for 4-Hers in Western North Carolina.