Robert Joe McLean - February 19, 1945 - January 14, 2018
Robert Joe McLean, of Birmingham, beloved character, dragon in the courtroom, and amateur weather enthusiast, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at age 72.
They broke the mold when Joe was born in Waco, TX and grew up in the nearby town of Groesbeck. He was the oldest of four children and loved regaling anyone who would listen with stories of his childhood. Joe was proud of being an Eagle Scout and Salutatorian of his class. After graduating from Baylor University in 1967, he served two tours of duty as a Naval Officer in Vietnam. He attended South Texas School of Law in Houston. Following graduate studies of Criminal Law at NYU School of Law, he came to Birmingham in 1975 to teach at Cumberland School of Law. In 1981, he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney, eventually serving as the Chief of the Criminal Division. In 2004, Joe left to become a criminal defense attorney until his retirement in 2016. Before passing, Robert Joe McLean forged a 73-year trail of laughter, generosity, compassion, and wisdom. He loved golf, long Sunday drives, dogs, reading history books on the back porch, traveling, telling stories and “Dad” jokes, and carrot pecan muffin tops. Most of all, he loved his wife, Gwen McLean, and daughter, Alexis McLean. Joe never met a stranger and will be missed by those who had the unique privilege of knowing him. Loved ones that cleared the path for Joe are his father, Robert McLean; mother, Jodie McLean; and brother, Bill McLean; and his Scottie, McGill McLean.
Loved ones that will miss Joe include his wife, Gwendellyn “Gwen” Lewellyn Mc Lean; his daughter, Alexis McLean (Will Gamble); his sister, Mary Adams; his brother and sister-in-law, Jon and Sandie McLean; his nephews, Ben and Walter Lewellyn and Chase McLean, his niece Jasmin McLean; and his dog, Sugar McLean.
The family will receive friends on Friday, January 19, 2018, from 10-11 AM at Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home and the Memorial Service will follow in the Chapel at 11 AM. Burial will be at Alabama National Cemetery at 2 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations Greater Birmingham Humane Society or Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.