Professional Staff

Once you request the services of McLean Funeral Directors, we will immediately put our experienced funeral professionals to work for you. A single, dedicated individual will stay in contact with you every step of the way and guide you through the decision-making process. He or she will carefully explain your options, make recommendations at your request, take care of all the small details, and ensure that you and your family’s personal touch is always present.

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Eva Ann Orr McLean
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William Jacob “Billy” McLean, III President
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Clay McLean Funeral Director, Preneed Manager
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John Stanley Chaplain
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Lindsay M. Lockett Preneed Consultant, Funeral Director
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Bill Whiteside Funeral Director
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Jeff Barbour, CFSP Funeral Director, Manager
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Don Long Funeral Director
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Katy McLean Apprentice Funeral Director
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Rhonda Deal McLean Funeral Director
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Paul English Funeral Director, Manager
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Cynthia "Deedy" Barbee Funeral Director
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Ann Brunson Horton Funeral Director
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Sarah McLean Levy Funeral Director & Attorney
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Reverend Bobby Joyner Funeral Director's Assistant
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Richard Rape Funeral Director's Assistant
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Tom Spencer Funeral Director's Assistant

Eva Ann Orr McLean

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Eva Ann was raised in Buncombe County and after graduating from Columbia College with a BS in Home Economics, came to Gastonia in 1961. She was therapeutic dietician at Gaston Memorial Hospital and taught for many years in the Gaston Memorial School of Nursing. She has worked with Meals on Wheels, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Hospice as a nutritional consultant. She married William Jacob McLean, Jr. in 1962 and is mother of Bill, III, Jamie and Clay and grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters.

Eva Ann has been very involved in the community, serving as president of the Women of the Church at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, president of the Junior League of Gaston County, on the board of directors of the Schiele Museum for eleven years, on the board of Cancer Services of Gaston County, and was appointed by the governor to the North Carolina Cemetery Commission, where she served for eight years.

She is a member of the Rotary Club of Gastonia , has served on the Board of Directors, and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She is president and CEO of Evergreen—A Quiet Place.

Eva Ann feels that women are a valuable asset in funeral service, and that compassion and understanding are key attributes of a funeral professional. “It is truly rewarding to help people through one of the worst times in their lives.” 

She enjoys reading, needlework, and time in the North Carolina mountains.

William Jacob “Billy” McLean, III

President
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  • Gaston County Native
  • Educated in Gaston County Schools, attended Christ School in Arden, NC; and Graduated from Gaston Day School, serving as Senior Class President
  • Graduate of Xavier University – Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, serving as Class President
  • Employed with McLean & Son, Inc, since 1983 and now serves as President of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia, Belmont and South Carolina
  • Past President of Belmont Rotary Club 1992-1993, Paul Harris Fellow
  • Rotary Club of Gastonia, Past President 2007-2008, graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute June 2007 , Habitat Honduras and Chorti Indian Clean Water Project Group leader Copon Ruinas, Honduras Spring of 2008. Member of Paul Harris Bequest Society
  • Current member, Rotary Club of Lancaster, SC
  • Hospice of Gaston County, Board Member, Executive Board Chairman, Capital Campaign Committee and Marketing Committee
  • Former Gaston Lifesaving Crew Board Member, served as Board Secretary
  • Recipient of Gaston Chamber of Commerce “Ruby Award” for 2006 Business Person of the Year
  • Recipient of Gaston Chamber of Commerce “Foundation Award” for 2012  Business of the Year
  • Salvation Army, Gastonia, NC, Advisory Council Board
  • Member of A.F. & A.M. Masonic Lodge #627, Oasis Shrine, Gastonia York Rite Bodies
  • Proud and active member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes
  • Member of the National Funeral Directors Association with a Certified Preplanning Consultant Designation
  • Husband of 30 years to Rhonda Deal McLean, Vice President of the firm and funeral director
  • PROUD Father to Sarah McLean Levy, Attorney at law and Funeral Director; and Kathryn McLean, Resident Trainee for NC Funeral Service Licensee-valedictorian, class of 2016 Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. Grandfather to McLean “Mac” Welsh Levy, age 2.
  • Avid Outdoorsman, fly-fisherman and hunter. Member of Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Bronze Sponsor for over twenty years, Local Chapter Chairman for three years; National Wild Turkey Federation Sponsor, and Charter Member of Quail Unlimited.

Clay McLean

Funeral Director, Preneed Manager
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M. Clay McLean is the youngest son of W.J. “Bill” McLean, Jr. and Eva Ann Orr McLean. He was born and raised in Gastonia, and graduated from Ashbrook High School. Clay is also a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After a few years of figuring out what he would do with his life, Clay decided in 1997 to attend John A. Gupton Mortuary School in Nashville, TN where he graduated second in his class.

 In 2006, Clay married Jennifer Marie Craig of Thomasville. In 2011, they welcomed their daughter Rachel.  Clay and Jennifer now enjoy being volunteers at W.A. Bess Elementary School.

 “I decided to join the family funeral business after working with my Dad for four and a half years. I saw the compassion that he gave to families in need and their appreciation to him in return. It grew an appreciation in me for all that my father had done for me and I saw how he had achieved that. These experiences with him showed me the importance of being of service to your community and taught me that it is what I also wanted to do.”

 Clay is active in the Belmont Rotary Club and is a past-president and a Paul Harris Fellow.  He serves on the Board of Directors of Holy Angels and is a past board member of The Little Theater of Gastonia where he still enjoys performing on the stage.  He enjoys percussion, golf, fishing, and anything outdoors.

John Stanley

Chaplain
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John Stanley is Chaplain of McLean Funeral Directors, Gastonia, and he is Minister--Visitation, First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia. He is a graduate of the School of the Laity/ Commissioned Lay Pastor Course, Presbytery of Western North Carolina. He also completed the Academy of Reformed Theology and Parish Leadership Course at Union/Presbyterian School of Christian Education. His prior education was obtained at Norman College, Norman Park, Georgia and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

 

Following the death of their 16-year old daughter, John and Rose established the Southern Piedmont Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, an international support group for bereaved families. Active and involved in community life, John is a past president of Gastonia East Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. Also, he is past chairman of the Board of Directors, Gaston Chamber of Commerce; John has served on the boards of directors of the Gaston County Economic Development (EDC) Commission, and Gaston Skills, and the Cabinet of the Gaston United Way. He was named the Civitan Citizen of the Year in 2004.  Also, he is a past master of Gastonia Masonic Lodge, and he is a past potentate (Chief Executive Officer) of Oasis Shriners, Charlotte. He has served as Chaplain of Shriners International, a fraternity supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children. 

 

A second career pastor, John was Director of Commercial Marketing, Public Service Company of NC, a natural gas distribution company. Immediately prior to responding to God’s call to full time ministry, he was Director of Community and External Relations of PSNC Energy, a SCANA Company, a successor to Public Service Company. 

Lindsay M. Lockett

Preneed Consultant, Funeral Director
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Lindsay is a native of Gastonia, and a graduate of Western Carolina University with a BSBA in Marketing.  Lindsay became a NC licensed funeral director in 2001 and received her CPC (Certified Preneed Consultant) designation from the National Funeral Directors Association in 2003.  Lindsay is a member of First United Methodist Church of Gastonia, current sustaining member of the Junior league of Gaston County, active member and past President of Gastonia East Rotary Club.

 

Lindsay has worked with McLean Funeral Directors since 1999 serving in the primary role of pre-need.  “Helping people with preplanning is my passion.  It’s so valuable and meaningful for your loved ones and it is so easy to do!  In addition to planning Wills and Estate Planning, more and more people are putting prearrangements on their “checklist” of items to do.  It’s truly the best gift of love you can give to your family.”

Bill Whiteside

Funeral Director
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Bill, resident of Gastonia, joined the McLean Funeral Directors staff in 1997.

Bill graduated from Kings Mountain High School, attended Oregon state University and after an enlistment in the U.S. Navy, attended Cleveland Technical College in Shelby, receiving his funeral directors license in 1975. Bill graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, GA in 1981, converting his funeral directors and embalmers license into a funeral service license in 1982. He has been a member of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association for several years.

Bill has been active in the Gaston community serving with various organizations such as the Jaycees, AM Optimist, Boy Scouts of America in local and district levels, Rotary, Masonic Orders, Hospice and Pop Warner Football.

Bill and his wife, Deanna Smith Whiteside, were married in 1968, have two children, six grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. They are actively involved in the lives of their entire family, including the numerous local schools they attend.

Presently, Bill is active with the Lowell Masonic Lodge #590, Oasis Shriners, Scottish Rite Valley of Charlotte, Gaston County Shrine Club and the Antique Fire Truck Unit of Oasis Shrine, Oasis Wagoneers.

“My interest in funeral service began in 1969 upon the death of my grandmother. My family was at a loss, and did not know what to do. The funeral director that served our family recognized this and helped us through this very difficult time of sorrow. I remember thinking, it must be a very rewarding career to help someone in a situation that they don’t want to be in and have no idea what to do. After several years of service in the funeral industry, I still feel the same way.”

Jeff Barbour, CFSP

Funeral Director, Manager
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Jeff is a managing funeral director and has been with the McLean family since January 2007. A Raleigh, NC native, he is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College and the National Foundation of Funeral Service School of Management.  He is also a Past President of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association in addition to, a member of the Gaston Breakfast Rotary Club where he serves as an officer.

His hobbies include hiking, cooking and traveling.  He is an avid SEC football fan, a hockey fan, especially of the Carolina Hurricanes, and a member of the Professional Car Society, which is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of vintage hearses, limousines and ambulances.  Jeff is married to the Rev. Dr. Joan Martin who is chaplain at Covenant Village in Gastonia.

“People need to grieve the death of someone they loved and cared for.  They should also celebrate that person’s life as well.  Creating the venue and allowing folks to achieve their wishes brings me great personal satisfaction.”

Don Long

Funeral Director
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Don is a life-long resident of Gastonia and graduate of Ashbrook High School and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.  Don and his wife, Nettie, were married in 1975.  He enjoys fishing, golfing, and antiquing. 

Don has been in funeral service for over forty-one years and feels it is a small way of giving back to God and the families he serves.

 “From day one, I had excellent my mentors and teachers who have put me on track, including Rosell Grissom, Reid Crawford, Bill McLean, Jr., Bill McLean, Sr. and Bill Ward.  They molded me into the funeral service professional that I am today.  I am thankful for McLean’s and for the opportunity I have been given to serve families the way they should be treated.  Taking care of all their needs as if they were my own family.”  

Katy McLean

Apprentice Funeral Director
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Kathryn “Katy” O. McLean, born and raised in Gaston County, the youngest daughter of Billy and Rhonda McLean and is the fifth generation of McLean Funeral Directors.


Katy is a 2011 graduate of South Point High School, a 2015 graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, and a 2016 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service where she was Valedictorian of her class and served as student body Vice President.

She is a proud Appalachian State Alumni, member of Delta Zeta Sorority, Pi Sigma Eta Mortuary Fraternity, Junior League of Gaston County, and the NFDA. Katy is 1 of 6 mortuary students in the country to be recognized as “Ones to Watch” 2016 published in the American Funeral Director’s magazine. She is also the first female McLean to be licensed as both a funeral director and embalmer.

However, out of all of her accomplishments thus far, her greatest one will be marrying her best friend, Austin Windell in September! She is a proud mom to her black lab, Ammo, an avid sports fan, and loves playing tennis and spending days at the lake.

Although she grew up in this industry, she is honored to be working full time serving our families to her highest potential.

Rhonda Deal McLean

Funeral Director
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Born and raised in Gaston County and currently resides in Belmont. Daughter of Helen Sullivan and Jerry Deal.

Graduated from Ashbrook High School and Central Piedmont Community College. Married William J. McLean, III in 1986 and mother of Sarah Ann (Sarah McLean Levy) and Kathryn “Katy” O. McLean.

Became a licensed funeral director in 1988 and is also a licensed insurance agent. Received the designation of Certified Pre Planning Consultant in 2003.

Current Sustaining Member and Past President of the Junior League of Gaston County. Member of the Gastonia Debutante Club. Past board member of the Heart Society of Gaston County, where served as chairman of The Heart Ball. Past President of PTA at Lowell Elementary and also South Point High School. Currently serving third term as a Member of the Board of Trustees at Gaston College. Board member of Gaston College Foundation. A Paul Harris Fellow recipient.

Hobbies include tennis, boating, walking and shopping with daughters. Also enjoys Red Raider and Appalachian State Football and watching Katy O. play soccer and tennis. 

Paul English

Funeral Director, Manager
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Paul joined McLean’s in 2006 as a funeral director and went on to become the Manager of our Belmont location.  "Serving families is an honor and a privilege and I take it very seriously.  I'm doing what I've been called to do...I simply help people."   And he's very good at it.  He was voted "Professional of the Year" by his peers in 2009 and focuses on providing McLean's families with the best service and professionalism possible.  He has been duly licensed as a Funeral Director and Embalmer for seventeen years, is experienced in business management, a member of the National Conference, the National Funeral Directors Association and is an active SPHS Booster Club Member. He is married to Ruth and has three sons and a granddaughter.

Cynthia "Deedy" Barbee

Funeral Director
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Deedy is a lifelong resident of Gaston County. She is a graduate of Fayetteville Tech and Gaston College and a member of Sharon Freewill Baptist Church. She adores her daughter and two granddaughters. Her hobbies are reading, traveling, photography, water sports, camping and spoiling her German Shepherd, Sapphire.

Deedy has been with McLean's since October of 1998.

"I want to take the burdens and concerns away from the families I serve and carry the burdens myself.  It is such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you serve a family and after the funeral they thank you for making such a difficult time much easier, that is my reward. It is an honor to serve a family knowing they put their trust and confidence in us. We serve all families the same, with compassion and dignity just as if they were our own family, that's the McLean way, always going that extra mile. I have a personal relationship with each family I serve. Funeral service is both personal and professional."

Ann Brunson Horton

Funeral Director
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Ann was born in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Kershaw, South Carolina.  She moved to Lancaster more than 20 years ago and became a Licensed Funeral Director while working with the Mahaffey Funeral Home under the leadership of James and Ralph Mahaffey.  She continues her tenure as a South Carolina Funeral Director with McLean Funeral Directors - Mahaffey Chapel.

When asked about her service as a funeral director she says "The funeral home is my little corner of the world that the Lord gave me to do His work.  I am very blessed to be able to do His work by serving grieving families."

Ann is the wife of Ricky Horton and she is blessed with four children and one grandson.  She is a member of Second Baptist Church and she enjoys gardening, spending time with her family and painting.

Sarah McLean Levy

Funeral Director & Attorney
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Sarah was born and raised in Gaston County and is the fifth generation of McLean Funeral Directors. She attended Appalachian State University where she was an active member of Delta Zeta and graduated with her bachelors in graphic design. Following her undergraduate education, she graduated with her degree in funeral service from Piedmont Technical College and continued her education at Charlotte School of Law where she was a member of the pro-bono clinic for estate planning and wills drafting. She graduated with her Juris-Doctorate degree and became a North Carolina licensed attorney in 2014. She has been working full time with McLean Funeral Directors as a Funeral Director and also an Attorney since she graduated from law school.

In 2014, she married Brian Levy and together they live in Gastonia and are active members of First Presbyterian Church. They are the proud parents of their little boy, McLean “Mac” Welsh Levy.

She enjoys spending her time with her family and two black Labradors and dabbling in art, design, and painting.

Reverend Bobby Joyner

Funeral Director's Assistant
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Born in Chesterfield County, Reverend Bobby Joyner has been living in Lancaster for more than 30 years.  Rev. Bobby is happily married to Audrey Sue Bradley Joyner for 56 years.  They are blessed with three children and two grandchildren.  Rev. Bobby was the pastor of Sardis Baptist Church in Saluda County before retiring. He is currently a member of High Point Baptist Church and he enjoys gardening and fishing.

Rev. Bobby has served in funeral service for 13 years and believes that it is a wonderful way to continue to serve grieving families outside of the church.  "It gives me an opportunity to serve families and minister to them in their times of bereavement."

Richard Rape

Funeral Director's Assistant
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Born in Union County, Richard has lived in Lancaster for 62 years.  Richard has been married to Sylvia Rape for 58 years.  Their family includes three daughters, eight grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

Richard worked for Drunn Manufacture in Pageland, South Carolina before retiring.  He is a member of High Point Baptist Church, Monday Morning Prayer and Breakfast Group at First Presbyterian Church and he enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, reading western books, spending time with friends, playing music, doing benefits to help out families with problems, leading the choir at church and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Richard has worked the funeral service for 13 years.  His quiet and respectful personality is a great comfort to the families that are served at McLean Funeral Directors - Mahaffey Chapel.  He cares deeply for those who grieve.  "Meeting people, serving and helping families when they need it most is a rewarding experience to be able to do this work."

Tom Spencer

Funeral Director's Assistant
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Tom was born in Bladenboro, North Carolina.  He moved to Lancaster 59 years ago and has been married to his wife Anne for 58 years.  Together they have a son, Tom, who is a licensed South Carolina Funeral Director in Conway, South Carolina and a daughter, Betsy Spencer, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Tom retired from Bowater, Inc. and at the request of his son, Tom, started working part-time for Mahaffey Funeral Home over 20 years ago.  He continues his tenure with McLean Funeral Director's - Mahaffey Chapel.  Tom is devoted serving families and his responsibilities include assisting the funeral directors during visitations and funerals.  You will also find Tom working behind the scenes at the funeral home, keeping the facility and grounds operating at peak performance by repairing and maintaining the building.

He and Ann are members of New Hope Baptist Church and he is a Mason.  Tom enjoys photography, woodworking and cooking.  When asked why he likes working in funeral service he replies "I like to help families bet closure at a very difficult time."