1938 – 2023

Ted McClanahan who served twenty-eight years in the United States Navy followed by eighteen years in private industry and academia died on July 1, 2023, only a few days before leaving for his beloved cabin in Maine. He contracted Vibriosis from a fall off a seawall in Annapolis where he resided. He was 85 years old. Born on February 6th, 1938 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of Verna and Jesse McClanahan. 

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960. He was an active and proud member of the Twenty-third company. Earning his Naval Aviator Wings in 1961, he served two tours in Patrol Squadron Twenty-Three at the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine. During these tours, he commanded anti-submarine aircraft flying patrols in the North and South Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. He served on the USS Yorktown (CVS-10). He participated in the recovery of the Apollo Eight Space Flight Recovery in 1968. He was part of the decommissioning crew of the “Fighting Lady” at the Boston Naval Shipyard. He received a Masters in Physics from the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from The Catholic University of America. 

In mid-career, he was designated as an Aviation Engineering Duty Officer. He served in several program management tours at the Naval Air System Command and the center for naval Analysis. He received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for engineering expertise in the Joint Cruise Missile Office during the development of the TOMAHAWK Cruise Missile. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. After his retirement from the Navy in 1988, he worked in private defense industries and taught physics at the Naval Academy until his retirement in 2019. 

He was an avid tennis and basketball player and participated in several National Senior Olympic Games. His marriage to the former, Jane Hill, ended in divorce. He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Katherine, four cherished children, Timothy (Nancy), Daniel (Roxanne), Elizabeth (Steve) and Patrick, Captain USN Ret. (Diana). He was especially proud of his fifteen grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his step-daughter, Caitlin. He will always be remembered as a true friend with a ready laugh and helping hand, and unbounded energy. For those who knew him, he was a quiet reservoir of love who enjoyed life to the fullest. A memorial mass will be held on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at the United States Naval Academy Chapel. Contributions may be made to Chesapeake Bay Foundation or Nature Sacred Foundation, 105 Annapolis Street, Suite D, Annapolis, MD, 21401. An online guest book is available at
Published by The Capital Gazette on Jul. 13, 2023.