Procession held for Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean

Multiple departments take part in escort, including Bay Ambulance, Lake Linden Police, and Michigan State Police
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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CHASSELL, Mich. (WLUC) - It was a somber Thursday for law enforcement around the Upper Peninsula, as a procession was held to transport the body of Sheriff Brian McLean from Marquette to Houghton County.

County Administrator Ben Larson, who was present for some of the escort, recalled why Sheriff McLean was such a irreplaceable member of the community.

“He’s a person that really made you respect the uniform and respect his department,” said Larson. “He did it right and never had a scandal. He’s a guy that you could lean on and trust, and if he was your friend (which he was a friend to most people here), he was a true friend.”

McLean died Monday night, two days after an accident at his home in Houghton County. He had been the sheriff of the county for 26 years and was the longest-running active sheriff in all of Michigan.

Larson, though, says McLean was more than his title.

“He was kind of like a larger-than-life guy and involved with every single thing that happens in the community,” he explained. “I talked to his wife, Kelly, who said it was very interesting to go to the grocery store with him because everyone said, ‘Brian! Brian! Slim! Slim!’”

Before the escort, McLean donated his organs at UP Health System Marquette.

Among the departments in Thursday’s procession were Bay Ambulance, L’anse Fire Department, Lake Linden Police, Michigan State Police and the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

“I think that’s part of what’s so great about the Upper Peninsula,” Larson stated. “People do care about each other. When something like this happens, people come together as a community and even the Upper Peninsula as a whole.”

Larson believes his friend’s legacy will continue in the work of his colleagues.

“They want to carry on proudly,” he said. “He would want us to carry on proudly.”

McLean leaves behind his wife, Kelly, and two children, Samuel and Katelyn.

Visitation services for Sheriff McLean begin Saturday morning at 10:00, followed by the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. All of that will be held at Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center.

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