BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Michael S. McClendon, Sr., 71, passed away peacefully, Monday, October 9, 2023, at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Michael was born September 3, 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio, a son of James McClendon and Geraldine Phillips Washington.
A proud lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Mike was a graduate of The Rayen School, Class of 1971. This past year, Mike enjoyed being a part of The Rayen Tigers Class Reunion Committee as he helped plan the next gathering of friends. After graduation, Mike continued his education at Hiram College and was a member of its football team.
In 1972, he put his education on hold and enlisted in the United States Air Force. After three years of service, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant, upon an injury.
Returning to his hometown, Mike enrolled at Youngstown State University to continue working toward his degree. While going to school, he worked as a van driver for the Youngstown Main Library and later as a bricklayer for Copperweld.
Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from YSU in 1988 and began his career with the Youngstown Board of Education. He worked as a special education teacher at North Jr. High School, East Middle School and his longest tenure at Woodrow Wilson High School. For many years, he was the head football and head track coach at Woodrow Wilson, where he was affectionately known as “Coach Mac.”
In 1977, Mike met the love of his life, the former Migdalia Diaz, on the YSU campus and they were married on April 14, 1979. They wrote their love story over the next 44 years, raising their three children and welcoming the addition of a grandson.
Some of Mike’s favorite pastimes included relaxing and fishing at Mosquito Lake and Lake Milton, bicycling, playing his Native American flutes, cheering on the Cleveland Browns and watching television, especially westerns, martial arts and sci-fi movies. He had a passion for cooking and especially loved that it brought together family and friends. Known as the “Brisket Man of Lundy Lane,” Mike enjoyed feeding the neighborhood his delicious smoked meats and everyone looked forward to his annual pot of chili on Halloween that he shared with neighbors during Trick or Treat.
Mike valued the importance of relationships and staying in touch. His many phone calls to check-in and catch up will be missed by many family and friends.
Mike leaves to carry on his memory, his mother, Geraldine; loving wife, Migdalia; children, Francesca (Justin) Pendel of Baden, Pennsylvania, Michael S. (Emily Boitel) McClendon II of Silver Spring, Maryland and Kaitlin (Tanner Bivens) McClendon of Aurora, Illinois; grandson, Sterling Boitel; brothers, Patrick McClendon of Denver, Colorado, Benjamin (Marci Lampkin) McClendon of Youngstown, Anthony Bryant of Columbus, Georgia and Douglas Pugh of Warren; brother-in-law, Francisco Diaz, Jr. of Youngstown; sister-in-law, Iris Diaz of Youngstown and a host of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his father, James McClendon, Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Anthony McClendon.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of life gathering and remembrance on Saturday, November 25, 2023 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Youngstown Saxon Club Hall, 710 S. Meridian Road, Youngstown, OH 44509.
Memorial tributes may take the form of contributions in Mike’s name to the American Cancer Society, www.donate.cancer.org, or the American Heart Association, www.heart.org.
Arrangements are by the Davis-Becker Funeral Home. Visit www.beckerobits.com to share memories and condolences.
A television tribute will air Thursday, October 19 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.