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Celebrating the life of
James McLane
June 23, 1945 - September 22, 2015
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Reception
  • 5:00pm-8:00pm - Saturday, October 10, 2015
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 4:00pm - Saturday, October 10, 2015
  • First Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • 1311 Holman (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77004

  • (713) 529-3589

Rest in Peace my friend Jim and may your family know that you are at peaceful sleep waiting for Jesus. My deepest condolences for your family's loss. Jim, you will be deeply missed and I'm so glad that I was able to hug you last time I saw you. You were such a dedicated friend to many of us. Kind, compassionate, respectful, and a man of integrity, always smiling and positive to all you knew. This was your personal 'brand' that all saw in you. The kids from the Space Settlement Design Competition will miss your mentoring and sage advice. You will be on my mind always. Your core values, passion, and purpose rubbed off onto everyone who met you. My hope is that the brilliance of Jim McLane will continue to affect us long after you've left. I will miss the deep conversations we shared, these are treasures to remember, I wish I had recordings, but these are good memories. Comfort and love to your family for they will always remember you. All my love and prayers are with you and your family. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

BeBe Kelly-Serrato, Houston, TX

My heart, like so many others is just absolutely shattered upon hearing of your loss. Jim. My love and prayers go out to his precious daughter, his family and his partner in life. We will carry your love, goodness, enthusiasm for knowledge, we will harbor your extreme effervescence and kindness in our hearts and keep it as the precious treasure that it has always been, forever.. How I will miss all of our eclectic conversations, most of which you had a "out of the box" ...yet logical answer. I will miss your smile that could warm the sun.. and the gift of your unfailing friendship. Mine will never fail you.. this life and into the next. God speed. my friend. until we meet again, Love you so much.. Ang Now tears flow ..and I laugh as I hear a scientific nudge"humans create ritual, Angela" - we would have had some interesting deep philosophical talk about this. "If light is in your heart, you will find your way home." Rumi..

Angela Beck, Houston, TX

Jim and I knew each other thru his father, the Lutheran church, and the AIAA. Jim was always very friendly and wanted to talk about aerospace, his article on the Mars mission, the oil industry, and caving. He was a great friend and his presence will be very much missed.

Dr. Garland Bauch, Nassau Bay, TX

James Calvin McLane III, a Licensed Professional Aerospace Engineer in Houston, Texas died suddenly of a heart attack Tuesday, the 22nd of September, 2015. James (known as “Jim”, by friends) was born in Tallahassee, Florida, on the 23rd of June, 1945 to Dorothy Dean McLane and James Calvin McLane Jr. Both of whom preceded him in death. Jim is survived by his devoted daughter, Krystal McLane (Darren Cox); grandchildren, Patrick McLane-Ertl (Adrian Ertl) and Lachlan McLane-Cox; loving sister, Patti Campbell (Buck) of Tullahoma TN; nephew, Jay Campbell of Louisville, KY; uncle, Harold Dean (Sadie) of Myrtle Beach, SC; and his companion, Jennifer Beegle of Houston.
As a young boy, Jim was brought up in a home with strong religious beliefs & his parents helped charter Lutheran churches in Tullahoma TN, La Porte TX, and Clear Lake City TX. He is also a long time member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Houston.
In 1962 Jim's parents moved to Houston when his father took a job with the NASA “spearheading” the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. McLane was a senior in high school at the time of his father's transfer and wished to remain behind and finish school with his friends. He lived with his Pastor for the remainder of his senior year and graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1963. After high school he followed his parents to TX to attend Texas A&M University and graduated in 1969 with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. Soon after Jim obtained his P.E. License, a highly successful accomplishment allowing him to stand out among his peers, along with his vast areas of expertise and inventions. While attending TAMU Jim discovered some of his life's passions, including caving and photography. He was a member of the A&M photo club where he fine-tuned his dark room skills. Jim had an excellent eye for photography which flowed over into other areas of his life. In the1980s Jim and his family traveled to Bolivia and on up to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world He took the reed boats onto the lake to visit the indigenous people who live on the Uros. Crossing over to Peru he traveled by train to the top of Machu Picchu, the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. Jim would, later in life, return to South America several times to photograph eclipses of the sun. He was a founding member of the Rice University Grotto of the NSS (1969) and the now Greater Houston Grotto of the NSS. He faithfully attended monthly meetings and was always engaged in lively discussions of archaeology, caving, exploration, and science. His cave pictures are still sought after by caving publications. An example of his cave photography is found in the frontispiece for the now famous cave publication Caves of the Inter-American Highway, Bulletin 1, of the Association for Mexican Cave Studies (1967). Jim was also a long time member of the Association of Mexican Cave Studies (AMCS). Motorcycle mountaineering was another love he had. Jim was one of the first to find the Rio Purification caving area in North Eastern Mexico. These mountains produced the longest and deepest cave in North America during the 1970’s.
Upon graduation Jim went to work for Mooney Aircraft as an Associate Engineer focusing on engine installations. A year later he transitioned into the oil & gas industry, beginning with Brown & Root in Houston before advancing his career at Gulf Interstate Engineering as a Senior Engineer in 1980. Hired for his experience with insulated pipelines, he helped design one of the world’s most ambitious construction and engineering projects: a 48” pipeline built in the Alaskan permafrost to bring North Slope natural gas to the lower continental United States. During the entirety of this intense project he was away from his family for more than a month at a time. Jim adored his daughter, who was a young girl, and being the doting dad that he was, brought native Alaskan and Canadian dolls home to her.
In 1986, a result of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, Jim was hired as a Systems Engineer with Boeing Aerospace Operations to review the reliability and safety of the vehicle's mechanical systems. During his 12 year career with Boeing he wrote requirements/standards documents (JSC 17481, JSC 16994), served on the panel that created NASA STD3000 and refined designs for the Space Station Freedom project, as well as help define and establish structural goals. After Boeing, Jim was Ground Support Equipment Design Engineer with United Space Alliance through 2006. His list of inventions include NASA lab equipment, service cameras, and machines to recharge Astronaut breathing tanks. The Space Suit lab was one of his favorite departments to be a part of and he managed to procure, for his massive collection of oddities, two massive floor to ceiling mirrors, originally used when inspecting the Space Suits while the Astronauts had them on. During his time with USA Jim wrote the controversial essay “Spirit of the Lone Eagle”, “in deference to Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927”. His program concept suggests a single manned, one way mission to Mars without returning, which Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and noted author and physicist Paul Davies have also advocated. Jim hoped to bring a return of the “get it done” attitude of the 60’s during the Apollo era, funding to NASA, fervent efforts in space exploration, swift advances in technology & science, as well as global unity through public support at international level. He believed this venture and accomplishment would represent a milestone for the entire human race and above all else, mankind's unification would be the greatest result. Lacking in funding, NASA began their lay-offs, so Jim revisited Gulf Interstate in 2006 as a continuation of his previous career with them. He was Senior Principal Engineer in the gas & oil pipeline design division working on a multiple pipeline project for a few years.
Jim's modest disposition allowed him to recognize the outstanding position he maintained, contributing to the world and future generations of space travelers and explorers. He appeared on talk shows which discussed these ideas in addition to being interviewed by the Public Broadcasting System show NOVA. Some of Jim's writings are in Aviation Week, L.A. Times, The Space Review, and Harper's magazine. He also wrote for Wikipedia. During Jim's engineering career, he worked on many of the world’s most significant undertakings: the first large crude oil pipeline across Saudi Arabia, where quicksand required the pipe to be installed above ground in an earthen berm, the tanker terminal that made it possible to market Iraq oil, developing the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia, major arctic energy projects, bringing the first natural gas supply to Mumbai India, the Space Shuttle, and at the time of his passing, the controversial Keystone pipeline at Wood Group-Mustang Engineering, where he was Pipeline Engineering Technical Consultant.
Jim enjoyed attending technical conferences & writing technical articles. He was a long time member of the Houston Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA). Each Spring Jim delighted in returning to his alma mater to participate with judging student projects, aiding students, and helping the professors in keeping the university courses on track to provide engineers the knowledge they needed in the industry. He received great joy from being around the young upcoming engineers. He was also a judge at the Space Settlement Design Competition at Johnson Space Center every year for the last several years and he helped team Frednet compete for the Google Lunar X-Prize.
Jim was always ready & willing for the next escapade. All combined, Jim traveled to over 15 countries in his lifetime, including Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, & Scotland. Jim became an expert on his family's genealogy and was Scottish Clan Director of the Clan Maclean Associations: Clan Gillean USA. In 1992 he & his family traveled to Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull, Scotland for the International Clan Gathering. While attending the gathering he met notable world figures including Kings, Queens, and diplomats.
Jim loved animals as intensely as he did humanity and helped care for Darwin, a 5-ft lizard, rescued many cats & dogs, and is also survived by his most recent rescue dog, Laika, who resides with his daughter and her family.
Comfortable in any social setting, Jim's inquisitive mind and friendly temperament attracted friends and admirers of all ages, cultures, & religions. His contagious upbeat spirit crossed barriers and our world and its people are far better since knowing him. We owe a deep gratitude to this man. He lived a sensational life.
“We shouldn’t be stuck on this rock forever. I believe it’s in our human nature to try to go somewhere else, and we’ve almost worn this world out. I think now is the time to reach out and go somewhere else to start with a clean slate. There is no reason not to try.” Jim McLane

The memorial service will be held at four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 10th of October, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman St. in Houston.
Immediately following the memorial service, friends are cordially invited to a celebratory reception from five o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening at the Bradshaw-Carter Home, 1734 W. Alabama St. in Houston.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages friends to support the Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA) can be made to the Texas Cave Management Association, P.O. Box 7427, Austin, TX 78713 OR online athttp://www.tcmacaves.org/, an organization that Jim supported regarding the protection of Texas caves.

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Candle tribute lit by Charlene Kelley — Texas

Rest in Peace my friend Jim and may your family know that you are at peaceful sleep waiting for Jesus. My deepest condolences for your family's loss. Jim, you will be deeply missed and I'm so glad that I was able to hug you last time I saw you. You were such a dedicated friend to many of us. Kind, compassionate, respectful, and a man of integrity, always smiling and positive to all you knew. This was your personal 'brand' that all saw in you. The kids from the Space Settlement Design Competition will miss your mentoring and sage advice. You will be on my mind always. Your core values, passion, and purpose rubbed off onto everyone who met you. My hope is that the brilliance of Jim McLane will continue to affect us long after you've left. I will miss the deep conversations we shared, these are treasures to remember, I wish I had recordings, but these are good memories. Comfort and love to your family for they will always remember you. All my love and prayers are with you and your family. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

BeBe Kelly-Serrato, Houston, TX

Candle tribute lit by Logan McNatt — Texas

My heart, like so many others is just absolutely shattered upon hearing of your loss. Jim. My love and prayers go out to his precious daughter, his family and his partner in life. We will carry your love, goodness, enthusiasm for knowledge, we will harbor your extreme effervescence and kindness in our hearts and keep it as the precious treasure that it has always been, forever.. How I will miss all of our eclectic conversations, most of which you had a "out of the box" ...yet logical answer. I will miss your smile that could warm the sun.. and the gift of your unfailing friendship. Mine will never fail you.. this life and into the next. God speed. my friend. until we meet again, Love you so much.. Ang Now tears flow ..and I laugh as I hear a scientific nudge"humans create ritual, Angela" - we would have had some interesting deep philosophical talk about this. "If light is in your heart, you will find your way home." Rumi..

Angela Beck, Houston, TX

Candle tribute lit by Sharon A. Jackson — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Krystal C. McLane — Texas

Jim and I knew each other thru his father, the Lutheran church, and the AIAA. Jim was always very friendly and wanted to talk about aerospace, his article on the Mars mission, the oil industry, and caving. He was a great friend and his presence will be very much missed.

Dr. Garland Bauch, Nassau Bay, TX


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