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On June 19, 2021 Wilbur James McLaren died peacefully in his sleep at the Toni and Trish Hospice in Auburn, Michigan from natural causes.  Wilbur was born on February 19, 1927 in Midland, Michigan and was a lifelong Midland resident.  He graduated from Midland High School in 1945.  Wilbur was drafted during WWII while still in high school and was inducted into the Army upon graduation.  He served in the Allied occupation army in France and Germany and was honorably discharged.  Wilbur was a journeyman electrician and retired from the Dow Chemical Company after more than 30 years of service in 1989.  He was an active member of St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church.  He served there as a Lay Minister for 12 years and as a Eucharistic Minister for 10 years, and sang in the men’s choir.  He also participated in the Roman Catholic Churches Cursillo apostolic movement teaching classes for six years.  Wilbur served as the treasurer for St. Brigid’s school for several years in the 1970’s and was an Assistant Scout Master with St. Brigid’s Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 768 in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  After retirement Wilbur volunteered for seven years with MCTV-3 taping and editing broadcasts.


Wilbur is survived by his sons Neil and Rory, his daughters-in-law Amber and Mariana, and by his five grandchildren (Connor, Madilyn, Emma, Roberta, and Sebastian).


Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents Harvey Chote McLaren and Agnes Marie McLaren (nee Churchfield), his seven siblings (Catherine, Malcom, Bernice, John, Lewis, Laura, and Phyliss), his wife R. Elaine McLaren (nee Bowers), his wife M. Suzanne Cross-McLaren, and his son John Harvey McLaren. 


Wilbur will be remembered for his generous and industrious nature, his dry wit, and his many acts of kindness which benefited both friends and strangers.  Wilbur was a depression era child who received little himself but gave much in return.  He served his country honorably and without complaint.  Wilbur was an exceptional father, friend, and husband who taught by example and returned kindness and understanding for hardship.  He leaves a legacy of Christian caring.  He was an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life, but in an extraordinary way.


A funeral service will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at St. Brigid of Kildare followed by internment in the New Calvary Cemetery.  Friends may visit with the family on Monday, June 28, 2021 at Smith-Miner Funeral Home from 5-7pm and at the church on Tuesday from 9 am until the time of service. Military honors will be under the auspices of the United States Army and the Midland County Veterans.


In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Toni & Trish House.


Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the McLaren family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.

Condolence Messages

  1. Anonymous

    01 July 2021 3 weeks ago

    Wilberforce and DoD were of the same generation. A better neighbor couldn’t be had. Thankful/Grateful; for Neighbors who Understood the Challenges of the day. Neil, Rory; I Understand your loss; (as we all do). I could not attend; but please know, I was there in Spirit.

  2. A. Adams

    27 June 2021 4 weeks ago

    During the short time that I spent in Wilbur’s presence, I came to know him as a gentleman and a caring soul. I offer my deepest condolences to Wilbur’s family and friends, he will be missed.

  3. Mike Murphy

    24 June 2021 4 weeks ago

    In the fall of 1979, Wilbur took over as chairman of the Troop 768 Committee; without his guidance, the troop was on the verge of being abandoned. A lot of young men owe their scouting experience to Wilbur.

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