Gene Ann (Tupker) McLean passed away surrounded by her loving family and friends on February 9, 2018. Gene Ann was born December 30, 1937, in Portland, Oregon, to Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Elizabeth Tupker.
She was raised in St. Helens, Oregon, and graduated from high school there in 1955. She graduated summa cum laude from Marylhurst College in June of 1959. Her name is inscribed in the school’s Joan of Arc trophy, an honor given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies character, scholarship and loyalty.
In August 1960 she married Riney J. Seeger of Pendleton. They had two sons, John (deceased) and James of Killeen, Texas. After separating from Riney she later married William McLean.
Gene Ann taught French at Tigard High School and Blue Mountain Community College. She later became Dean of Women and Director of Student Activities at BMCC, retiring in 1997. Her work at BMCC extended well beyond her job, and it’s been said that she mothered more rodeo champions than anyone in the world, taking countless students from the school’s rodeo team under her wing and often into her home. The scholarships she provided through the BMCC Foundation each year allowed many students to realize their dream of higher education.
She was active in many aspects of the community, including 15 years as a member of Altrusa International of Pendleton and serving on the board of directors of the Arts Council of Pendleton during the renovation of the Carnegie building into the Pendleton Center for the Arts. Her board tenure included service as both board secretary and board president. Gene Ann also volunteered at Lincoln Primary School and was involved in countless other activities.
She loved both college rodeo and the Pendleton Round-Up, and hosted large gatherings each September for visitors from across the country and around the world.
She is survived by son James Seeger, grandchildren R.J. Seeger and Ashley Seeger, great-grandson Elijah Schmitz, sister Jane Raabe of Vancouver, Wash., and brother William J. Tupker of Sacramento, Calif. She was preceded in death by her son John Seeger.
A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, February 15 at 1 p.m. in the Bob Clapp Theatre at Blue Mountain Community College.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Gene Ann McLean Scholarship Fund, BMCC Foundation, P.O. Box 100, Pendleton, OR 97801.