Howard Randolph “Randy” McLean, 75, died in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 12, 2021.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda Busby McLean; his daughter, Caroline McLean Tolleson and her husband, Matt, of Atlanta; his son, Zachary Busby McLean and his wife, Rachel, of Charlotte; his grandchildren, Matthew Gale Tolleson Jr, Frances McLean Tolleson, Cullen Fitzroy (Fitz) McLean, Lachlan Davidson McLean; his brother, James Michael “Mickey” McLean and his wife, Charlotte, of Nashville; his mother-in-law, Carolyn Hulme “Gigi” Busby, of Sparta, Tennessee, as well as numerous beloved in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, Frances Hammond McLean and James Howard “Mac” McLean, and his father-in-law, Robert Kenneth “Bob” Busby.
Randy was born June 20, 1946, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He grew up in Nashville, the youngest of two boys and had a very happy childhood. Later in life he would describe his upbringing as “idyllic 1950s America.” Always serious about his studies, Randy also loved the family dogs, building model cars, and his high school job bagging groceries at the neighborhood grocery store, Green Hills Market.
In 1964, Randy graduated from David Lipscomb High School where he was the center on his basketball team and was named the valedictorian of his class. He matriculated to the University of Tennessee where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In his senior year, he met his future wife, Linda Busby. Randy graduated from UT in 1968 with high honors and was awarded an academic scholarship to The University of Virginia School of Law.
Randy and Linda were married, in 1970, in Sparta, Tennessee, after Linda’s graduation from UT. Upon Randy’s law school graduation, in 1971, he was admitted to the Virginia State Bar and the North Carolina State Bar. The couple moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, where Randy joined the North Carolina division of the Federal Estate and Gift Tax Attorney’s group for the Internal Revenue Service. A few years later Randy and Linda moved to Charlotte, which is where they settled and raised their family.
Randy made many deep friendships with his immediate co-workers and his “worthy adversaries” in the Charlotte legal community. He was well known for his quick wit and his enjoyment of sparring with his friends over sports, politics, and local events, in Charlotte. He was an avid Tennessee Vols football fan and a UVA basketball fan. He was also a charter season ticket-holder for the Carolina Panthers and attended games with friends and family for years. Randy was a tremendous fan of Jeopardy and watched it religiously. Had he ever been a contestant, we are certain he would have given Ken Jennings a run for his money!
Most importantly, Randy was a family man. He stated as his objective from the beginning that he intended to have time to participate in his children’s lives as they were growing up, and he more than achieved this goal. He was known for attending all of his children’s numerous sporting events with Linda. He was a longtime head timer at the swim meets at Charlotte Swim and Racquet Club, where he served on the board, and a beloved Sunday School teacher of second grade students at the Myers Park Baptist Church for many years. When the children were young, he drove the morning carpool to school every day. There were many road trips to Tennessee to see both beloved sets of grandparents, in Nashville and Sparta, and numerous vacations with both sides of the family. Living in Charlotte, the family was far from their roots, but it was important to Randy and Linda that their children grew up knowing their extended family.
As his children grew, Randy took the time to remain a large part of their lives, forging friendships with Caroline and Zach’s friends and their parents. He was always a phone call away with support and advice if needed. He loved both his son-in-law, Matt, and his daughter-in-law,, Rachel, as though they were his own children. After a stellar 40-year career as a federal attorney, Randy retired from the IRS, in 2011, shortly after his first grandchild was born. He enjoyed having the time and flexibility to be a large part of the grandchildren’s lives. In these years there were numerous family trips to DeBordieu, South Carolina. Linda and Randy loved to laugh, and, in these beach trips, the laughter would echo through the house beginning early each morning and lasting late into the evening. As time went on, it was harder for Randy to attend every sporting event, but he would keep up by calling each grandchild afterward for an update. He would keep pictures on his phone and explain something about each grandchild to anyone who would listen. “Randaddy,” as he was fondly known, will be sorely missed by his family.
A service will be held in the Myers Park Baptist Church sanctuary at 2 p.m., Dec. 10, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Diabetes Association or to Myers Park Baptist Church.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, North Carolina.