Cotten Funeral Home

2201 Neuse Blvd, New Bern, NC


John McClellan

August 6, 1943November 5, 2019

John Franklin (“Mac”) McClellan, Jr., age 76, retired senior attorney for the Hartford Insurance Group in Towson, MD, San Francisco, CA, and Alexandria, VA and a member of Centenary United Methodist Church in New Bern, died of renal failure at Bayview Rehabilitation Center in New Bern on November 5th.

Mr. McClellan was born at St. Luke’s hospital in Richmond, Virginia on August 6, 1943. His parents were John F. McClellan, Sr., and Arline Williams McClellan. He spent most of his early years in Baltimore and later moved with his parents to Monkton, Maryland. He attended Carroll Manor elementary and junior high school and graduated from Towson High School 1961. He graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1965 with a major in public relations. While at Maryland Mr. McClellan was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, a social fraternity. After graduation, he began a 31-year career with The Hartford Insurance Group, starting as a claims adjustor during the day, while attending law school at night at the Mt. Vernon Law School in Baltimore, now part of the University of Baltimore. Mr. McClellan’s father, John Franklin McClellan, Sr., also decided to start law school at the same time at Mt. Vernon and both father and son completed the normally 3-year academic program in just two calendar years by going to law school at night year-round while working full time during the day. After graduating, Mr. McClellan and his father passed the Maryland bar exam together.

After he graduated from law school, Mr. McClellan continued to work for The Hartford, first in Maryland and then California, settling surety and fidelity claims. He eventually moved to the Alexandria, VA office and worked on claims in Virginia, Florida and other southern states. The cases he handled were often complicated fidelity claims (monetary thefts of large sums by employees and others against entities insured by The Hartford). He also worked on surety claims which often involved large construction projects that ran out of money during big projects, requiring The Hartford to pay the remaining bills and otherwise finish projects that had been promised but not yet delivered. All of this required Mr. McClellan to interact with judges, attorneys, witnesses and other stakeholders involved in order to settle claims, out of court preferably, or in court if necessary.

Mr. McClellan moved with his wife Joan to New Bern in 2001. He served on the planning and zoning commission for eight years, until finally retiring in 2009.

Survivors include his wife Joan; two daughters, Laura Bowdring and her husband Bill and their sons Nathan and Colin of Alexandria, and Aimee McClellan of Wilmington, NC; sister Virginia McClellan of Monkton, MD; brother William McClellan, of Herndon, VA; and stepchildren Yousef Sait of Richmond, VA, and Noreen Sait of Centreville, VA

A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church, Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 11:00am.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 309 New Street, New Bern, NC 28560


  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 14, 2019


John McClellan

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Virginia McClellan

November 11, 2019

Words cannot express the many emotions I have felt since your passing—my grief is present and palpable. I did not have the chance to say goodbye to you, but I hope the hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth (YouTube, Beth Nielsen Chapman), gave you comfort during your last days and hours.
Our Mother told me a long time ago how you were so loving and protective of me in the car on the way home from the hospital after I was born. And there are a few childhood photos at the house where you are holding my hand as you walked with me in the once barren field near the backyard. When I was somewhat older, we walked up to the local store when Mom and Dad were out of town. You went to bat for me so I would not get in trouble because I had bought a small cigar for myself and the babysitter found out. She was going to tattle on me, but you had my back and circumvented her phone call to our parents. Thanks for that!
As an adult, there were ups and downs in our relationship, but-in the end-I believe there was always love.
Go in peace, brother, travel lightly ~ your loving sister
Love to all my family, you mean so much to me.

“It’s not easy to remember that in the fading light of day the shadows always point towards the dawn.” ~Winston O. Abbott, “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens.
Quote also in “Sing With the Wind” by Winston O. Abbott

Arnol Lamb

November 9, 2019

Mack was one of the most congenial people I have ever known. He always greeted you with a warm smile and a sincere hello. I will miss him. God definetly has a new helper.