Published in The Columbus Dispatch on December 23, 2011
Jack Ralph McLain, passed away Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at the Inn
at Halcyon Village in Marysville, OH, his home for the past 15 months.
Born March 29, 1920 in Columbus, OH to John Riley and Gladys Madaline
(nee Casperson) McLain. Attended Scioto Trail Elementary, 1938 graduate
of Columbus South High, where he received a total of 11 varsity sports
letters in 4 different sports. 1942 graduate of the Ohio State University,
lettering in both basketball and baseball.
Upon graduation, Jack taught and coached in Glenford, OH during the school
year and played professional baseball with the Columbus Red Birds, a minor
league team of the St. Louis Cardinal organization and predecessor of
the Columbus Clippers.
Jack had a notable officiating career, officiating high school basketball
and football and college and professional football. At the time of his
Jack was the oldest living NFL retired official, had also officiated in
both the AFL and the UFL. Member of the Mid-American Conference Athletic
Hall of Fame, honored for his service as MAC Football Supervisor of Officials
and a member of the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame.
Jack was an active and honored member of the Ohio Football Officials Association
and the Ohio Association of Basketball Officials and was known for mentoring
many officials who went on to careers in the collegiate and professional
Jack is predeceased by his parents and his sister Bonnie Irene Avenmarg.
He and his wife of 52 years, Thelma Griffith Cosgrove (deceased Christmas
Day 1993), raised two daughters, Jacqueline (Bill) Biemesderfer and Marilynn
(Dr. W. Richard) Garner, who survive along with Jack's nine grandchildren,
Andrea (Jim) Christgau, David (Kathy) Garner, Beth (Eric) Bowen, Debbi
(Jeff) Jewett, Richard (Renee) Garner, Susan (Patrick) Fallon, Kelly (Jason)
Hand, Dr. Robert (Jennifer) Garner, Brian (Rochelle) Biemesderfer and
19 great-grand-children, ranging in age from 19 years to 23 months. Eleanore
(Frank) Sinacola, cousin and almost 'sis' and favorite nephew Blake (Joni)
Avenmarg also survive. Jack's second love and sweetheart, Virginia Marcorelle,
of Ipswich, MA survives, as well.
Jack and Ginny found great happiness in their many years together in the
Florida sunshine of Cape Coral, enjoying many days in 'paradise'. Member
of First Community Church in Marble Cliff since 1954.
Calling hours are Tuesday, December 27 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the SCHOEDINGER
WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 N High St, (1/2 mile south of 270), where services
will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 28. Rev. Jim Long officiating.
Interment Green Lawn Cemetery.