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James Michael McClain

Obituary for James Michael McClain

February 9, 1948 - June 15, 2018
Sheffield Lake, Ohio | Age 70

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother and Friend


James Michael McClain, age 70, Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Born February 9, 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Walter R. and Esther P. McClain. Jim died peacefully surrounded by love on June 15, 2018. Beloved husband of Diane (nee Kleinhans); devoted father of Amy Askin (Andrew), Melissa Rodkey (Patrick), and James Jr. (Katie Schottelkotte); loving grandfather of Kailey, Olivia, Tommy, Serene, Annabelle, Danny, Emercyn, Elysiana; cherished brother of W. Robin (Paula), Rick (Debby), Holly Downey (Rick) and Dr. Jennifer McClain; nephew to his favorite aunt, Annabelle McClain; and his longtime secretary who was like a daughter, Vicki (Paul, Paco)Mercado.
Jim was a 1966 graduate of Westlake High School where he earned Most Valuable Offensive Back in football and Undefeated Southwest Conference Wrestling Champ. He was a National Merit Scholar and member of the National Honor Society. Most importantly, he fell in love with Diane, his wife of 47 years.
He graduated from Wittenberg University in 1970 where he lettered in wrestling and discovered the game of lacrosse, a sport that challenged both his intellect and physical ability. He was chosen team captain his senior year. Jim loved the comradery of team sports; he played football, ice hockey and lacrosse for decades, and loved to share his tips and tricks with his children and grandchildren in their athletic pursuits.
Jim attended Cleveland Marshall Law School and had a private practice in Elyria. He was active in the Lorain County Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association and Kiwanis. His law practice focused on making a better life for his clients, a philosophy that earned him their admiration and the respect of his colleagues.
Known as Papa, he was a most jovial, kind-hearted and fun-loving man. His smile was contagious. Children loved him, almost as much as he loved them. He never lost the twinkle in his eye that showed he was still a kid at heart. He lived every moment to the fullest and never gave less than 110%. Diane found a tattered quote from Abraham Lincoln in his wallet, "And in the end, It's not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years."
There is great comfort in knowing Jim lives on in the memories of so many friends and family. Everyone who knew him has stories, glorious stories to tell.
Visitation for those not attending the memorial celebration is from 10-11am at Bay Presbyterian. The Memorial service will be held at Bay Presbyterian Church 25415 Lake Rd, Bay Village, OH 44140 July 7, 2018 at 11 am. Celebration of Life with toasts and tributes reception will follow the church service. Feel free to wear your Cleveland Indians attire or colors to support his favorite team! In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the "James McClain Scholarship Fund" to support future paralegal scholars c/o Huntington Bank 520 Avon Belden Rd Avon Lake, OH 44012.
Hunter S. Thompson perfectly summed up Jim's life: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • James McClain Scholarship Fund
  • "James McClain Scholarship Fund" to support future paralegal scholars c/o Huntington Bank
    520 Avon Belden Rd
    Avon Lake, OH 44012

Arrangements By

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

163 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, OH 44012
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