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.
Eva Ann Orr McLean
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 McLean, III
- Gaston County Native
- Educated in Gaston County Schools, Graduated from Gaston Day School
- Graduate of Xavier University – Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
- Employed with McLean & Son, Inc, since 1983 and now serves as President of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia and Belmont
- Past President of Belmont Rotary Club 1992-1993, Paul Harris Fellow
- Past President of Rotary Club of Gastonia 2007-2008, Member of Paul Harris Bequest Society
- Hospice of Gaston County, Board Member, Executive Board Chairman 2005-2006
- Husband of 36 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 Windell, Funeral Director and Embalmer. Proud Grandfather to McLean Welsh Levy, Annie Kathyrn Levy, and Spencer Orr Windell
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.
Jeff Barbour, CFSP
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.”
Katy McLean Windell
Kathryn “Katy” O. McLean Windell, 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, 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 is being married to her best friend, Austin Windell and being a mom to their new baby boy, Spencer Orr Windell! She is a proud mom to her black lab, Ammo and goldendoodle, Mauney, and an avid sports fan. She 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
Born and raised in Gaston County and currently resides in Belmont. Daughter of Helen Sullivan and the late Jerry Deal.
Graduated from Ashbrook High School in 1983 and Central Piedmont Community College. Married William J. McLean, III in 1986. They are proud parents of Sarah Mclean Levy (Brian) and Kathryn"Katy" Orr McLean Windell (Austin) and now have three wonderful grandchildren, McLean Welsh Levy, Annie Kathryn Levy and Spencer Orr Windell.
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. Served 4 terms as a Member of the Board of Trustees at Gaston College. Past Board member of Gaston College Foundation. A Paul Harris Fellow recipient.
Enjoys going to the mountains, boating, tennis with friends, and being "RaRa" to her precious grandchildren.
Paul joined McLean’s in 2006 as a funeral director and is the manager of our Belmont location. He is a duly licensed funeral director and embalmer, a member of the National Conference, and the National Funeral Directors Association. A first generation Funeral Director, he chose the funeral profession as an opportunity to significantly help others in their greatest time of need. "I simply treat people the way I would like to be treated. With that Rule as my primary and with God's blessing, everything else falls into place".
Cynthia "Deedy" Barbee
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."
Sarah McLean Levy
Sarah was born and raised in Gaston County and is a part of the fifth generation of McLean Funeral Directors. She attended Appalachian State University where she was in Delta Zeta sorority and graduated with her Bachelors in Graphic Design. During her undergrad career, she also graduated with her degree in funeral service from Piedmont Technical College. She 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 her family at McLean Funeral Directors as a Funeral Director and our Advanced Planning Specialist ever since. Sarah has a passion for pre-planning. It's a great combination of her legal background and also helping people to take burdens off of the people they love, both emotionally and financially.
She married Brian Levy in 2014. They are the proud parents of their son, McLean "Mac" Levy and daughter, Annie Kate Levy. They are all active members of First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia where Sarah teaches Sunday School and loves to teach art for Vacation Bible School.
She enjoys cheering on her children in all of their sports and being the chauffeur to all of their activities. In her free time, she loves hosting, designing and decorating, and curling up with her black lab and a good book (almost always recommended by her grandmother, Eva Ann)... and loves watching the Gamecocks play with her family.
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