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Mr. Arthur Harold  McClean

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“Art and Tuxedo...always saw those two around town.We lived inthe same neighborhood;on occasion,I'd see him at my job.Art was kind and was always...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Niko Tuttle - Long Beach, CA

“I shall always remember Art walking his beloved dog no matter what time of day it was. Such fond memories. I could always count on seeing his cheery...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Cyndi - Long Beach, CA

Arthur Harold McClean
Life-Loving Insightful Culturist dies at 86

On May 12, 2018, Arthur "Art" Harold McClean passed away peacefully at his home in Long Beach, California. While he spent nearly all of his life in good health, during the last year his condition was uneven, as he began to experience problems with his heart and kidneys.

Art was born in New York in 1932 to Cyril Herbert McClean and Lillian Parris, both from the southern-most island in the Caribbean, Barbados. He had an older brother, Cyril McClean (who passed away in June 2014), and an older sister, Lucille McClean, who currently lives in Harlem, N.Y., age 92.

After moving to Southern California in his late 20s, it became his long-time home and where he started what would become a 40-year career in sales. Throughout his life, people were drawn to him because of his welcoming disposition, his quick wit and his interest in other people's lives. When he thought the situation dictated, he was also primed to take on the role of cheerful contrarian. Art truly knew how to "live, love and laugh," and that generated a magnetism that inspired many people to be part of his circle.

In 1961, Art married the former Carole Arnaud; though they later divorced, they remained friends until the end. In 1964, she gave birth to Scott, Art's only child and a former Air Force Officer who served for over 21years and continues to serve the country through his successful consulting career in Washington, D.C.

Art's love for life was evidenced, in part, by his love for history and admiration for achievement. The books on his bookshelf covered a wide variety of topics from early American history to contemporary U.S. architecture to the books dedicated to African American "firsts." He strongly believed that, notwithstanding the lack of sufficient acknowledgement, black people have been making substantial contributions to American culture and society since the 1700s; he was sure that the trend would continue as the country continues to evolve.

If asked to name black people with strong character who have changed the world for the better, Art could rattle off a diverse list of names from Nelson Mandela to Paul Robeson to Shirley Chisolm. And, he truly admired John Coltrane for creating a new form of jazz, which he enjoyed daily.

Art was remarried in 1985 to the former Barbara Dombrowski, a pioneer in early education. Until her passing in 2012, the two enjoyed a marriage filled with travel, politics, and a wide variety of cultural experiences. Art and Barbara chose to live in Long Beach, close to the Performing Arts Center, with plans to spend as much time as possible experiencing all forms of artistic expression. An appreciation for culture, he believed, could bring people from all walks of life together in a powerful way that would minimize differences and drive mutual respect and admiration.

Art's spirit lives on in all the people that he touched, and especially his immediate family: his son, Scott McClean, his grandsons, Lucas McClean and Carson McClean, his niece, Lilyanne McClean, his nephew, David McClean and his older sister, Damaris Lucille McClean. It also lives on in all of his mother's descendants, including Herbert Parris and his children, David Parris and his children, and Eleanor Parris. It is also important to not forget his best friend and constant companion, Tuxedo.

Art's passing is sad, yet it is also cause for celebration. He was a man that loved life and valued people.
If we take his thinking and share it with the world, there is no doubt that it will be a better place.