Burton A. MacLean


Burton Allan MacLean died in the early morning of Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at his home in Pomfret, Conn. In his 95th year, Reverend MacLean was born in Batavia, N.Y., on April 13, 1916, the fourth child of Charles Chalmers and Elizabeth Dreyfus MacLean.

Mr. MacLean graduated from The Taft School in 1934, and Yale College in 1938 with a BA in English, where he was a member and President of the Glee Club, “popo” of the Whiffenpoofs, member of the varsity crew, Scroll and Key Society, the Class Council, and Board Of Deacons of Christ Church. In 1942 he graduated from Yale Divinity School. Mr. MacLean was married to the former Catharine Alice Corson of Lockport, N.Y., for 68 years; she predeceased him in 2007.

Following Yale Divinity School, Mr. MacLean served as an Industrial Missionary with the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Mich. From 1944 through 1946, he served as U.S. Army Chaplain in the 3rd Battalion, 303 Infantry and 97th Division in the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. He remained a Captain in the Reserves until 1949.

In 1946 he was appointed Assistant Dean of the Chapel at Princeton University; and in 1949 he returned to Yale as Associate Chaplain and Director of Undergraduate Religious Affairs. In 1959 he was appointed Headmaster of Iolani School, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1970, he became headmaster of the American School of Paris, and in 1977 headmaster of the Pomfret School from which he retired in 1979.

During his professional life, MacLean was a member of the Headmaster Association, the National Association of Secondary Schools, the National Association of Secondary Schools, and served as President of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. After retiring in 1979, Burton and Catharine continued to live in Pomfret, and in Cape Vincent and then Clayton, N.Y.

MacLean is survived by eight children — Burton A. MacLean Jr. of Haverford, Penn., and Wolfe Island, Ontario; Katharine Crane of Chevy Chase, Md., and Belmont, Vt.; John C. MacLean of Ashfield, Mass., and Club Island, N.Y.; Mary D. MacLean of Pomfret; Thomas C. MacLean of Frankfort, Ky.; Peter C. MacLean of Oak Bluffs; Henry P. MacLean of Milton; and Robert S. MacLean of Oak Bluffs. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

There will be a funeral service for Reverend MacLean at 1 pm on Saturday, January 22 at Christ Episcopal Church in Pomfret, followed by a reception for family and friends. There will also be a memorial service in the summer of 2011 in Clayton, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances in Rev. MacLean’s name may be sent to Christ Episcopal Church in Pomfret, or Yale University, Class of 1938.