Thomas C. McClain
07/14/1935 - 10/14/2017
Thomas McClain of Salt Lake City, Utah passed away peacefully on October 14, 2017. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Laurel McClain; his children Kristen, April and Alex; his grandchildren Summer Delaney, Brooke Delaney, Lily Delaney, Grace Delaney and Alexander McClain; and his extended loved ones of the Hugie and Thorpe families with whom Tom spent some of the happiest times of his later life in Salt Lake City.
Tom was born in Castleford, Idaho, a farming community in Southern Idaho, on July 14, 1935 to parents Chester Walter McClain and Rose Evelyn (Swanson) McClain. Tom was a 1953 graduate of Castleford High School and was active in student government and sports. During summers as a high school student, Tom would assist his father on the family farm and would spend wonderful times with his father on fishing trips in Idaho.
He attended the University of Idaho, and then transferred to Utah State University in Logan, Utah where he graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1960. At Utah State, he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and also served in the U.S. Army Reserves. In college, he met and married Laurel Kay Hugie (a native of Logan) in 1959.
Following their marriage, Tom worked as a mechanical engineer at Morton Thiokol. The couple subsequently moved to Cupertino, California where he worked at Lockheed Martin in the early 1960s, testing Polaris rocket missiles for our country’s space program. Their first daughter, Kristen Kay McClain, accompanied them to California. In late 1963, the couple returned to Idaho, and Tom began working in agriculture with his father Chester to expand the McClain family farm where they grew the famous Idaho russet potato. Over the next 30 years, the family expanded their farming business and diversified with other partners to operate a dry bean storage facility and an onion processing plant. During the 1970s, he was selected to be a member of the Idaho Potato Commission and served as President of the Potato Growers of Idaho. He deeply enjoyed meeting other farmers from across the country and negotiating for the association. Tom loved his life in Idaho, and spent much time at the R&R Café in Buhl, Idaho, was a member of Blue Lakes Country Club and especially enjoyed spending time with his family at their residence in Sun Valley with their cherished friends. In Sun Valley, he was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, and he loved eating at his favorite restaurant Michel’s Christiana.
After his retirement from farming, Tom relocated to live with his wife in Salt Lake City whereby, Tom worked as a real estate agent with Prudential Real Estate. In his retiring years, he also loved spending time with his three children Kristen, April and Alex and with his five grandchildren. Tom’s greatest ability was engaging people and to speak with anyone about anything, and he just made a room brighter when he entered it.
In his immediate family, Thomas is survived by his wife Laurel and three children Kristen, April and Alex and five grandchildren. April McClain-Delaney lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Congressman John Delaney; they have four daughters Summer, Brooke, Lily and Grace. Alex McClain lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife Kathleen and son Alexander.
There will be a private family viewing and service on October 19th at Allen Hall Mortuary in Logan, Utah, and interment will be in the Logan Cemetery. Condolences and memories can be shared with the family by sending them to email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to University of Utah, Department of Dermatology, c/o the Auto-Immune Skin Disease Program, 30 North, 1900 East, Room 4A330, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132.