John Duncan McLaren III, age 77, passed away peacefully at Bickford of Midland on April 11th, 2020. John was born on August 9, 1942 in Plymouth, MI to John D. McLaren II and Willie Jane McLaren.
John grew up in Plymouth, graduating from Plymouth High School, and then attended the University of Michigan, earning a degree in education. John also received a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a PhD degree in genetics from Kansas State University. It was in Manhattan, Kansas in the 1960s that John met his wife, Ning-Chun Chai. On August 9, 1972, John and Ning were married at the First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth. John and Ning briefly lived in Salt Lake City before moving to Los Angeles, California where John worked at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. In 1980, they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they resided for 35 years. John was employed by the University of Michigan for 24 years, doing research in the field of genetics before working at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute until his retirement in 2004. Over the course of his career, he contributed research that was published in many scientific medical journals. To know John was to admire him, as he had a great sense of humor, was a loving husband, protective and supportive father, and a brilliant scientist.
John enjoyed reading, learning, and acquired a deep understanding of many subjects. He also enjoyed listening to music, especially classical music and bluegrass. John was one of five generations and counting of McLarens who attended the University of Michigan, and he enjoyed regularly watching the basketball and football teams, although sometimes not enjoying the result. John was very fond of nature, beautiful scenery, taking walks, and caring for animals. Over many years, his residence in Ann Arbor welcomed all kinds of wildlife, including numerous stray cats who were provided food, shelter and a loving home. In his later years, John was well cared-for at Bickford of Midland with kind support of caregivers from Bayside Home Care.
John is survived by his twin sons John Duncan (Tatyana) McLaren IV and Charles Ian (Elizabeth) McLaren, sister Cindy (John) Hartsig, and grandchildren Svetlana, Logan, Jensen, Ian and Anson.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Ning McLaren.
Entombment with a private family service will be held at Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth, MI with a public memorial service to be scheduled at a later date.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Humane Society of Huron Valley, 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.
Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the McLaren family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com