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James P. McLellan, 94, World War II veteran, longtime financial officer at Sisters Hospital

Dec. 17, 1923 – Feb. 13, 2018

James P. McLellan Sr., of North Buffalo, who flew “the Hump” in World War II and was a longtime financial officer at Sisters Hospital, died Monday in Sisters Hospital. He was 94.

Born in Middlebury, Wyoming County, he worked in his family's nursery outside Batavia as a boy. A 1941 graduate of Batavia High School, he played on the basketball team.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943 and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a radio operator on military supply airlifts over the Himalayas to China.

After the war, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with an accounting degree. He left college for a while to attend to his family’s business after the untimely death of his father.

“His grandmother, who was born in Ireland, told his mother he needed to go back to college and finish up,” said his daughter, Dr. Angela McLellan-Desai, “so he finished his last year in a six-month period and came back to Batavia.”

Mr. McLellan began his accounting career at National Gypsum, then was a consultant at Ernst & Ernst before joining Sisters Hospital as controller in 1959. He retired as vice president of finance in 1989.

He was active in the Hospital Finance Management Association and the American Association of Hospital Accountants.

He and Marian Elizabeth Maney, a librarian at Notre Dame High School in Batavia, were married Aug. 13, 1955, in the midst of Hurricane Connie, which forced their outdoor ceremony plans indoors. She later was a librarian and teacher at Mount St. Joseph Academy. They traveled extensively and were avid birdwatchers, Irish set dancers and gardeners.

He also enjoyed golfing, martinis and rooting for the Yankees, the Buffalo Braves and Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish.

Survivors also include two other daughters, Maria Behm and Clare Button; three sons, James Jr., Andrew and John; 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 401 Woodward Ave.

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