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Dr. Gordon Glen McLain
May 24, 1935 ~ May 29, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Dr. Gordon McLain O.D., 88, of Hastings, Nebraska, formally of Scottsbluff, Nebraska passed away Monday, May 29th 2023, at Heritage of Red Cloud in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Graveside service with military honors will be held Saturday, July 22nd at 2 pm at the Royal Cemetery in Royal, NE.
Dr. Gordon McLain was the youngest of two children born one mile north of Royal Nebraska to George Dewey McLain and Lillith Eva (Hamilton) McLain. He graduated from Lusk High School in 1953. Dr. McLain attended Chadron State Teachers College transferring to Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree. He then went on and received his Doctor of Optometry Degree from the College of Optometry at Pacific University in 1962.
During the Vietnam war in 1968, he volunteered for service in the US Army under the doctors draft for optometrists. During this time, he practiced optometry at Madigan General Army Hospital. Captain McLain was augmented into the commissioned corps of the USPHS in 1970, being one of the first optometrists commissioned into that service. He held the rank of equivalent Commander (05) in the Navy.
While Dr. McLain served in the Public Health Service, he established the Indian Health Service eyecare program. He was appointed consultant on public health to the American Optometric Association and was awarded citation by his colleagues for creating a membership category for USPHS officers through AFOS. Dr. McLain developed the school age child optometry program which included children all over the country for Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in the Albuquerque, NM area.
Later in his career Dr. McLain practiced optometry in Grand Island, Hastings, Lincoln, and Scottsbluff/Gering where he was seeing around 3,000 patients a year from 1990-2011.
His love of the Northeast Nebraska area and farming brought him back to Royal/Plainview, NE where he simultaneously ran a farm while practicing Optometry. After he retired from optometry he farmed until the day of his departure.
Gordon married Jannice Mae Whitmore January 1st, 1978. To this union one child named Shanda Marie McLain was born.
Gordon married Wilma Schmidt on October 3rd, 2010.
Dr. McLain is survived by his former wife, Jannice McLain, daughter Shanda (Rachael) McLain; stepchildren DeAnna (Bill) Robertson, Vickie (David) Gerloff, Gary (Marlys) Schmidt, Brenda Hayworth; nephew George Daniel (Janice) McLain; 14 step grandchildren; 17 great step grandchildren; and many great nieces, nephews and cousins.
Dr. McLain is proceeded in death by his wife, Wilma Marie McLain, his parents, George Dewey McLain, Lillith Eva McLain, and brother George Donald McLain.
Dr. McLain will be greatly missed by the family, and friends he leaves behind. He always was willing to help those less fortunate and took great interest in talking to others. Dr. McLain was fond of the Nez Perce Native American tribe Chief Joseph who taught “Don’t criticize me or my friends until you walk a mile in our shoes.”
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family and mailed to Merten-Butler Mortuary, P.O. Box 185, Blue Hill, Nebraska 68930. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mertenbutlermortuary.com. Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill, Nebraska and Ashburn Funeral home, Plainview, Nebraska are in charge of arrangements.