The Obit For Jack McLain

Jack Ralph McLain

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 death,

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 ranks.

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.