Eric James McLean, “The Bucket List Guy,” age 28, passed away August 23, 2012, at his parents home in Two Rivers.
Eric was born in Orlando, Fl on July 17, 1984 to Mary and Brian McLean. Eric attended schools in Gahanna, OH and Two Rivers, WI, graduating as Class President from Two Rivers Washington High School in 2002. During his high school years he played Soccer. Following high school, Eric graduated from UW Whitewater in Management Computer Systems. While at Whitewater Eric played Rugby. Following graduation from Whitewater he began employment with The Harley-Davidson Company. Eric loved his dogs, his Dodge Charger, Harley Night Rod Special and his mom’s garden. He was known as “Batman.” In July 2011, Eric married Cari Jaeger and moved to Port Washington, WI. Eric and Cari greatly enjoyed their neighbors and the support they received. Eric was very proud to work for Harley-Davidson and enjoyed his coworkers. He liked to travel, going to Milwaukee Brewers games, and riding his Harley.
Eric passed away after a 9 year battle with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). He was first diagnosed following his freshman year at college in 2003. In the following years, Eric received three stem cell transplants, radiation, and numerous regimens of chemotherapy. Despite the terrific toll taken by the disease, Eric remained focused on living life. His greatest desire was to do the normal things in life like mowing the yard or taking care of his house.
After a relapse in 2009, Eric put together a bucket list of things that he wanted to accomplish. The activities were fun times spent with family and friends that drew him closer to those he loved as his disease became more difficult to defeat. He was very grateful for all of the people who contributed so that he could complete so many items on the list. Eric shared his fight with cancer openly to help raise cancer awareness and so that others might share in his journey.
A large part of Eric’s fight resulted in the formation of the Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric (LIFE). LIFE became a non-profit organization to provide support for finding a cure for leukemia and other cancers and to help others fighting cancer. His efforts live on at www.givetolife.org.
Eric is survived by his wife, Cari of Manitowoc, WI; his parents, Mary and Brian of Two Rivers, WI; brothers, Mike (Megan) of O’Fallon, MO; Steve (Ashley) of Two Rivers, WI; a sister, Lindsey of Manitowoc, WI; and two nieces and two nephews: Ava (special goddaughter), Jaxon, Emmalyn and Owen. He is further survived by other family members and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, September 1, 2012, at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Two Rivers. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be Rev. Tom Reynebeau. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc following the luncheon.
Visitation will be held on Friday. August 31, from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Two Rivers. Visitation will continue on Saturday, September 1, at church from 8:00 until 10:45 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that blood donations be made to your local blood center or that cash donations be made out to LIFE. Eric also encouraged all eligible people to support the bone marrow registry at www.marrow.org. Presently, stem cell transplant provides the best chance for a cure for AML.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family by visiting www.kleinandstangel.com.
The Klein & Stangel Funeral Home, Two Rivers, is assisting the McLean family with funeral arrangements.
The family would like to send their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Hari and the staff at Froedtert, who took such good care of Eric over the years. Thank you to Harley-Davidson for the support and kindness shown to Eric during his employment with them.
Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from August 26 to August 30, 2012