The time has come for me to say “hasta la vista.” C. E. “Blackie” McClelland went to be with his heavenly savior on Monday, Jan. 10, 2005. Blackie passed away after a battle with cancer at home in the loving care of his family.
To those who knew and loved Blackie, he was bigger than life. He was a good man, self-taught and pursued a dream, the “American Dream of success,” which he achieved. He was the epitome of the “old oil field”; his word was his bond. Friends describe him as a man’s man and a gentleman’s “gentleman.”
Blackie described himself as a Baptist, a Mason and a Democrat. He had a heart of gold — was generous to a fault. Blackie always helped people, but took no credit for it; because that’s the way he wanted it. He loved his family, his beloved Pug, Jeanie, his country, politics and the U.S. Marine Corps. Semper Fi!
C. E. “Blackie” McClelland was born to Jonie and Goldie McClelland in Marion County, Illinois on Feb. 27, 1922. He graduated from Odin High School in Odin, Ill. He met Carrie Ruth Muirhead in Oklahoma when she was 14 and he was 17. They married in Riverside, Calif., on June 14, 1943.
During World War II, Blackie served in the 1st U.S. Marine Raider Battalion (Company E, Edson’s Raiders) in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 11, 1944.
After the war, Blackie worked in the oilfield all over the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma, and Texas. He came to Farmington with his family in 1958 to work for Panhandle Tool Company. In 1964, Blackie and Ruth formed their own business, AAA Fishing Tool Company. He sold his business to W. R. Grace in 1977. Once retired, Blackie and Ruth traveled all over the world. He said, “If they hadn’t been there, they would go.”
Blackie was a lifetime Baptist, a member of the First Baptist Church of Farmington, and an active member of the Democratic Party. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. He was an Associate of the “Howlin’ Mad Smith Association,” a lifetime member of D.A.V. and V.F.W., Marine 1st Division Association, the U.S. Marine Raider Association, and the Marine Memorial Club of San Francisco. Blackie was a Mason and Shriner for 49 years and a lifetime member of the Ballut Abyad Shrine in Albuquerque. He also was a “New Mexico Amigo.” Blackie and Ruth have been members of San Juan Country Club since 1958. He was a lifetime member of the Cpl. J. Anthony Alafonso Detachment 736 Marine League, and was presented with the honor of “Marine of the Year 2003.”
During his retirement, Blackie attended Pan American University at Brownsville, Texas, receiving a degree in Criminal Justice. Blackie and Ruth owned citrus groves in Bayview, Texas, where he served as a Marshal and on the Bayview Water Board.
Blackie is survived by his devoted wife and soul mate of 62 years, Carrie Ruth; daughters, Cecilia McDowell and husband, Jay, of Farmington, Montana Collard and husband, John, of Placitas, and Jean Ludwick and husband, Allan, of Farmington; grandchildren, Cody Brothers and wife, Christy, of Kingsville, Texas, Carrie Collard Barker and husband, Maj. Cody Barker, of San Antonio, Texas, and PFC Travis Collard and wife, Suzette, of Fort Bliss, Texas; great-grandchildren, Aaron Brothers, Dylan and Sean Collard, Chance Moore, Zachary, Caleb and Pyper Collard, and Isabella McClelland.
Blackie is also survived by his brother, Harold and wife, Thelma, of Farmington; sister, Catherine Wallette of Odessa, Texas; sister-in-law, Arleva McClelland of Farmington; sister-in-law, Mattie Dillman of Wewoka, Okla.; brother-in-law, Dewey Muirhead and wife, Inez, of Wewoka, Okla.; sister-in-law, Cleo Muirhead of Oklahoma City, Okla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Blackie was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Roy McClelland and Loren McClelland and grandson, Andrew Geer.
Visitation with the family will be held from 2 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005, at Cope Memorial Chapel in Farmington. A private family viewing from 6 to 7 p.m. will follow.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, 2005, at the First Baptist Church in Farmington with Pastor Larry Haslam officiating. Graveside Military services will be held in Memory Gardens Cemetery of Farmington and presented by Cpl. J. Anthony Alafonso Detachment Marine League 736.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons: Cody Brothers, Monte Collard, Blane Moore, Casey McClelland, Dustin Brothers, Travis Collard, granddaughter, Carrie Collard Barker, and great-grandson, Aaron Brothers. Honorary pallbearers will be Jere Hill, Jack Cave, Kendal Schlenker, Harvey Crowley and Harold Moss.
Contributions in memory of Blackie may be made to the Cancer Center or charities of your choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to Cope Memorial Chapel of Farmington, 404 W. Arrington St.