John M. McLellan, Sr.

John M. McLellan, Sr.

April 5, 1934 – January 24, 2024

John Marshall McLellan, Sr., passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

Family welcomes friends to join them Saturday, March 23, 2024, 9:30-10:30 a.m. for coffee and donuts in the Dundee Presbyterian Church parlor prior to a 10:30 a.m. Celebration Service in the Sanctuary.

John is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Jepsen McLellan; son, John “J” McLellan, Jr. (1967) and his wife, Jeanne, and daughters, Carianna and Pamela; son, James “Jim” McLellan (1970) and wife, Aneetha and daughter, Angelina; brother-in-law, Ed Jepsen; nephews, Peter and David Jepsen; sister-in-law, Holly Hoberman (Bruce) and nephews, Joshua and Clayton Hoberman.  John was buried surrounded by immediate family at Omaha National Cemetery on Friday, January 26th, with Military Honors by Millard American Legion Post 374 and VFW Post 8334.

John was born on April 5, 1934, to Alliene (1901-2005) and Raymond McLellan (1901–1980). John’s early years were spent in Carthage, Illinois.  He graduated from Carthage High School in 1952.  The first two years of his college career were spent at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.  He transferred to Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, graduating in 1957 with a degree in Civil Engineering.  While there, he earned a Commission of First Lieutenant in the United States Army.  John graduated from U.S. Army Engineering School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in March of 1958.  He was then assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  Following active duty, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and worked with the Missouri Highway Department supervising interstate highway construction throughout the city.  He remained active in the St. Louis Army Reserve Unit, eventually retiring with rank as Captain.

John met Jackie Jepsen at Second Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.  They were married two years later, on March 16, 1963.  In the summer of 1966, John accepted an offer of employment as a Professional Engineer with Northern National Gas.  This position moved the couple to Omaha, Nebraska, then to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968, and finally to Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1975. He retired from Peoples Natural Gas in 1986 as their Director of Civil and Pipeline Engineering. While there, he used his professional knowledge and training to assist in the development of some of the first fuel cells that convert hydrogen gas into electricity.  These designs later went on to be used by NASA in space missions.  John continued to work in the field of Civil Engineering until 1998.  He then transitioned into his childhood dream position as a train locomotive engineer, volunteering for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo Railroad.  His two sons and three granddaughters were thrilled.

John was intrigued with trains from the age of four when he received his first of many model trains.  At the age of ten, the engineer of the Wabash train would occasionally allow John to ride in the cab of the steam engine during switching operations.  John went on to build HO gauge model train layouts for himself and others.  He built layouts and took various positions with the Greater Omaha Society of Model Engineers (GOSOME) in the Durham Museum and later with the Rails West Historical Center in Council Bluffs.

John shared his support, training, and experience with many civic organizations and activities.  Organizations and positions included: Boy Scout Leader; Omaha Symphony Board; renovation of the Lewis and Clark Monument in Council Bluffs; board of Directors of Mercy Service Corporation Board; Council Bluffs Planning Commission; Children and Families of Iowa Advisory Board; and Presbyterian Church Boards.

In lieu of flowers, John’s family suggests memorials to Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Avenue, Omaha 68132; St. Croix Hospice Support Foundation, 1065 No.  115th Street, Suite 120, Omaha 68154; Omaha Henry Doorley Zoo and Aquarium Railroad, 3101 So. 10th Street, Omaha 68107; or to your favorite charity.


1 Condolence

  • Jack Cox Posted February 14, 2024 7:54 am

    John and I were associates and friends, and worked on many projects together. My sincere condolences to family and friends Rest easy with the angels, John. We’ll meet again in heaven..

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