Carrollton native Richard E. McLane.CARROLLTON - Many may not know but a Carrollton native - Richard E. "Rick" McLane II - was a general in the National Guard.

McLane was born November 1, 1945, in Knoxville, Tenn., and grew up in Carrollton. He served his country around the world during a 32-year meritorious military career.

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McLane retired as Brigadier General with the National Guard Service on August 2, 1998, and died on February 18, 2024, in Yorktown, VA. McLane earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, but his real love in education was learning to fly advanced technology jets.

As a U.S. Marine pilot, McLane flew 75 combat missions during the Vietnam War, running up 110 combat hours. Later he graduated from the Navy’s TOPGUN Fighter Weapon School. In 1983, McLane was appointed Commander of the 183rd Tactical Fighter Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard in Springfield, and there he continued to learn and teach his skills to other pilots in other places, always transitioning to ever-improving aircraft systems.

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McLane was appointed Brigadier General in the National Guard Service in 1998. During his service years and after, he willingly served both civilian and military organizations, always demonstrating his sense of valor, achievement and dedication which inspired all those with whom he served. McLane earned many military decorations and awards over the years.

General McLane was married to the former Ronna Mary Hudson of Wrights. They are parents of two children, Angela Gayle Crossin (husband Brad) of Grand Rapids, MI, and Richard Clinton McLane of Yorktown, VA. They have three grandsons and two great-grandsons. McLane was preceded in death by his father and mother, Richard E. and Goldie McLane, both of Carrollton, and his sister Patricia. He is survived by a sister, Deborah Hunter (Robert), and nieces Lisa Beuttel and Amy Godar, all of Illinois.

Rick’s Celebration of Life Service was held March 1, 2024, in Virginia, with burial at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veteran’s Cemetery, Suffolk VA. His family took comfort knowing that "he is cruising to Creedence Clearwater Revival music up there in the blue yonder."

A memorial service for McLane was held in the area on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Chatham Christian Church, Chatham.

He will be remembered for his time as a father, husband, grandfather, and his commitment to the National Guard, and his unbelievable amount of missions as Naval pilot.

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