Obituary of Eric Donald McLean
Eric McLean, age 60, entered Heaven’s majestic gates on July 31, 2023 after suffering a massive stroke. He was born on September 14, 1962 in Denver, CO. Eric passed away peacefully at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, CO. Eric’s life may be best characterized by his devotion and investments he cultivated during his life - whether co-workers or customers at the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store he worked at on W. Alameda for 20+ years, his neighbors, his life long friends or his family. Eric was extremely dedicated to his work and to the customers at O’Reilly’s. Eric graduated from Lakewood High School in 1981. One of his most cherished memories was playing in the 1979 Colorado 4A Football Championship vs. Fairview HS. (Lakewood lost 10-7.) Eric went on to earn an Associate’s degree from Red Rocks Community College while working full-time for the City of Lakewood in the Street Maintenance Division. All three of the McLean “boys”, father Don and sons Alex and Eric, suffered from what they jokingly called a “skiing disorder” - aka a love of alpine skiing. Eric was incredibly skier - fluid and powerful - whether on steep bump runs, deep powder in the trees or boiler-plate groomers. His life was forever changed due to a serious ski accident (at Loveland Ski Area) on February 1st, 1986. He sustained a major brain injury and broken jaw and cheek bones and was in ICU for several months, followed by time at Craig Rehabilitation Center. (This was before ski helmets were popular). His physical recovery was aided by the fact he was a burly and athletic young man of 22. Less than four months after his accident, he had recovered enough to be the best man in his brother’s wedding. Eric recovered mentally as well from his ski accident, but was never his former self. He was taking engineering courses at Metropolitan State College at the time of his accident. He never returned to college after the ski accident. Eric never married.
Despite his accident, Eric’s love of skiing never wavered - most recently joining his family in Crested Butte to ski and have fellowship this past Christmas. He also loved all things relating to cars - attending metro-area car shows and drag races at Bandimere Speedway with friends as well as working on and accessorizing his own vehicles. He was especially proud of his new 4Runner TRD. Eric was kind and helpful to others. His friends have shared how he told stories, listened to stories, laughed, made jokes, teased others as well as got teased. Eric was not wealthy by worldly standards, but he was rich in his friendships and relationships. Eric blessed others with his demeanor and was equally blessed in return by these friendships. He is greatly missed. “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:25 A celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 14th at 2 pm at Green Mountain United Methodist Church (12755 West Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228).To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eric McLean, please visit Tribute Store