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Welcome to the memorial page for

Rupert Joe McLean

October 23, 1961 ~ December 6, 2017 (age 56)


Rupert Joe McLean was born on October 23, 1961, in Lillington, NC, to Deacon Joe Felton McLean Sr. and the late Mother Ruth Belle McKay McLean. He died at his Sanford residence on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Rupert was the seventh of twelve children born to that union. He can be remembered singing “Lord, I’m Singing Your Praises” with the McLean Brothers of Lillington, NC. He also sang the duet “A Child’s Blood” with his brother Jerome. He had one of the most pleasing baritone voices you ever heard. He was an immaculate dresser and an outstanding cook and housekeeper. Rupert was very artistic and creative. He was an excellent brother to his siblings.

Rupert graduated from Harnett Central High School in 1980, where his senior class peers voted him as “Best Looking Male.” He later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry corpsman. Rupert served in the Marine Corps from 1980 to 1983. He was serving in Beirut, Lebanon, in October 1983, when a suicide bomber drove a truck of explosives into a building—which killed 241 United States service members (including 220 Marines). It was by God’s grace that he returned home safely. For his USMC service, he was honored with a key to the city of Dunn, NC. Rupert retired in 2007 from Honeywell in Moncure, NC, after 20 years of service. Following his honorable discharge from military service, he eventually married Penny Burch, and from this union he had two sons.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Nancine Ruthell McLean, his mother, and a brother, Willard Bernard McLean.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Phyllis Headen McLean; his sons Rupert Jezreel McLean (Charity) and Garren James McLean; a stepdaughter, Latonya Smith Frazelle (Lewis); his father, Joe Felton McLean Sr. (Lucy); nine siblings: Joe F. McLean Jr. (Hester), Jerome K. McLean Sr., Michael L. McLean Sr. (Karen), Reuben L. McLean (Eva), Doris McLean Bates (Charles), Rebecca McLean Barber (William), Davey R. McLean, Henry D. McLean (Jessica), and Ruth Michelle Chapman (Elijah); two stepsisters: Dorothy Williams (Anthony) and Jeanette Keyes (Kenneth); two grandsons: Malachi Xavier McLean and Adam James McLean; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He also leaves behind a dear aunt, Doretha Alston.

Arrangements By: Knotts Funeral Home, Sanford

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 Service Information

Funeral Service
Tuesday
December 12, 2017

11:00 AM
Cape Fear Conference A Headquarters
25 Beaver Rd.
Erwin, NC 28339

Interment following funeral service
Tuesday
December 12, 2017

Sandhills Veterans Cemetery
8220 Bragg Blvd.
Fort Bragg, NC 28310


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