MASSENA – Martha Elizabeth (Rickard) McLean, 87, widow of Donald “Red” McLean, peacefully passed away Saturday morning, May 18, 2019 at the Massena Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, with her daughters, Cathy and Suzanne and granddaughter, Shannon by her side.
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Martha was born March 6, 1932 in the family home in Massena Center, the daughter of the late John S. and Adelaide (Southwick) Rickard. She was a 1950 graduate of Massena High School. On July 14, 1951, she married Donald “Red” McLean at the First United Methodist Church in Massena with Rev. W.O. Thomas, officiating. He predeceased her on June 4, 1998.
Martha had a great love for flowers, plants, horse racing, doing puzzles at the nursing home, bowling and reading the newspaper and cutting out articles about her family was recently excited to be a member of their garden club for 2019. Martha made friends bowling, running the family business, and at the horse tracks. She cherished her upbringing in Massena and enjoyed reminiscing about helping her grandfather, Tom Rickard in Massena Center stocking shelves and being paid with a chocolate bar. After her family moved to King Street, she would ride her bicycle back to Massena Center to clean her grandmother, Adelaide Shaver Rickard’s home. Most of all, she was a firm believer in Women Rights and very active in the Massena community.
Before her marriage, Martha worked as a clerk at JJ Newberry’s and as a clerk at Kaner Drugstore which was located inside the Bowlmor Bowling Alley, and then worked for at time as an office clerk in the White Office at Alcoa. After her marriage, she became the secretary/bookkeeper for Red McLean’s Trucking, later becoming McLean Brothers Corp and McLean’s Nursery. She later took a landscaping course and assisted her husband, son Keith, as well as brother-sister-in-law, Kenneth and Janet run the business. During the Christmas holiday season, she sold Christmas trees and decorations during the Christmas holiday season and she specialized in making “Christmas Kissing Balls” which decorated numerous homes and businesses throughout Massena.
Upon the closure of the business in 2003, she worked as a clerk in the Massena Salvation Army Office for the Aging. In 2004, she was hired as the Human Resources Secretary for the Massena Unit of Salvation Army and in 2013 she was promoted to Administrative Assistant. She was named the Office Employee of the Year in 2005 for the Salvation Army Massena Corps. She also served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Massena Corps of the Salvation Army. In 2013, at the age of 83, she resigned from the Salvation Army due to her health. Throughout the years, she could also be found at Uptown Glass helping owner, Rob Rush with his books.
Martha not only worked in the Massena community, she dedicated countless hours volunteering for various civic organizations, where she participated and chaired many of them, including Massena Meals on Wheels, Massena Triad and SALT Council, Massena Independent Living Center, Massena Senior Citizens, Massena Horseman’s Association, the Mayor’s Committee for Assisted Living, Elks Lodge, and the SOS Walk. As an independent businesswoman, she was active with the Business and Professional Women organizations throughout the North Country, serving as the president for 5 different terms and was awarded the 1989 Woman of the Year for her dedication to BPW and the Massena Community and was a member of the NNY Woman Club for over 51 years.
In addition, Martha also dedicated 15 years to the Massena Memorial Hospital Board of Managers as its first female member, after being appointed by Supervisor Floyd Richey and reappointed by Charlie Smith and Duane Hazelton. She also strongly supported the Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation as member of the Ben Franklin Committee and the Community Relations Committee. Martha continued her community involvement while in the nursing home as she held several positions on the Massena Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Resident Council. She was also active within her church, Grace United Methodist as Secretary of the Ad Board and treasurer to the United Methodist Women. Her commitment to the Massena community will be missed deeply.
Martha is survived by a son, Keith (Judy) McLean; and two daughters, Cathy (Mark) McDonald, Suzanne (Bill Ward) McLean, all of Massena. The loves of her life were her 11 grandchildren and following them playing sports; Heath (Ally) McLean, Austin Rush, Sharlie McLean-Krywanczyk, all of Massena; Alex Frazier of Hartselle, AL; Anthony (Allysia) of Wellington, CO; Shannon (Jared) Bryant, Angie (Pappy) Kowalchuk, all of Brasher; Deanna (Jeff) Bollacke of Charlotte, NC, Natalie (Chuck Little) Nicholas, Kenny (Elodie) Smith all of Ithaca; Corey McDonald of Manchester, NH. Martha’s love continued to flow to her 19 Great Grandchildren and following their accomplishments; Tyler (Kylee) Kowalchuk, Nicholas and Owen Kowalchuk, Bradley Bryant, Maximus and Axel Frazier, Nash McLean, Layla and Sophia Currier, Ryan, Jacob, and Emily Bollacke, Alecia and Dominic Nicholas, Logan Little, Teddy, Elijah, and Kellan Smith and Scilla Raymon-Gazaze.
She is also survived by one great-great grandchild, Adriana Kowalchuk, as well as a girl to be born in July. Several nieces and a nephew also survive Martha.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Martha was predeceased by a daughter Carolyn Frazier on April 2, 2017; her sisters, Mary Rickard of Plattsburgh on September 5, 2016 and E. Jane Layo of Waddington on February 1, 2019; her brother-in-law, Mathew Layo of Waddington on August 8, 2018; and brother, Jonathan Rickard at birth.
Friends may call Tuesday 4-7:00 PM at the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena. Funeral services will be held Wednesday 11:00 AM at the Grace United Methodist Church with Pastor Rachael Jordan, officiating. Burial will follow in Massena Center Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to Massena Rehabilitation & Nursing Center activity fund, Grace United Methodist Church local Missions, or Massena Meals on Wheels.
The family would like to thank everyone at the Massena Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (St. Regis Nursing Home) for taking extra care of Martha and going the extra mile to treat her like their family.