Donald G. McClane, former director of religious education for the Diocese of Wichita and editor of the Catholic Advance, died Feb. 12 in Clovis, California, at the age of 93.
McClane was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1924, the third of the four children of Joseph L. and Teresa A. McClane. He served in the army during World War II, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. His father was an aeronautical engineer, and McClane initially pursued a similar career, earning a degree in engineering at the University of Notre Dame. While employed at the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company in New Jersey, he met Georgia Meszaros, whom he married in 1952. Later he worked at the Thiokol Corporation in northern Utah.
In 1964, he abandoned his engineering career to study in the Institute of Lay Theology at the University of San Francisco. He subsequently served as director of religious education in Blessed Sacrament and the Cathedral parishes in Wichita for three years.
In 1968, he moved to northern Virginia and joined the staff of Triumph magazine, eventually becoming publisher. He also edited the Catholic Currents newsletter.
He returned to the Diocese of Wichita in 1973, where he was appointed the first diocesan lay director of religious education in the country. During his tenure, he strove to ensure that Catholic teaching was strictly orthodox at every level throughout the diocese. Later he added editorship of the Catholic Advance to his duties.
In 1985, McClane served as president of Catholics United for the Faith, then in New York. Two years later he joined one of his Triumph colleagues in a business in Virginia, remaining there after his retirement. He and Georgia later moved to California, where his daughter supervised his care.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joseph, sisters Elizabeth Hadorn and Mary Ruth McClane, and daughter Maureen Fogle.
He is survived by wife Georgia, sons Donald, Jr., and Matthew, and daughters Eileen Uyeda and Margaret McClane. Services were held in California.