Submitted by his Family
NAME: Hector ‘Sandy’ McClune
RANK: Volunteer Firefighter
DEPARTMENT: Millerton Fire Department
It is no coincidence that the word extraordinary contains within itself the word ordinary when remembering Sandy McClune. Sandy was an ordinary man in the scheme of the world‚ but extraordinary in the eyes of his family‚ friends‚ fellow firefighters and the small community of Millerton‚ NY.
‘Sandy’ was born Hector Alexander McClune on July 1st 1930 in Scotland. In 1951 he married Agnes ‘Nan’ McClune. They emigrated together to Canada before moving to the United States‚ settling in Millerton in 1964. They had three children‚ named Sheila‚ Bonnie and James. Sandy was a family man who enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. His youngest grandson Jarrett shared an especially close bond with Sandy. As a toddler‚ he copied the way his ‘Poppy’ walked and talked. They enjoyed mowing the lawn together with Sandy’s tractors.
Sandy’s hobbies were extensive and included ‘tinkering’ with and repairing old tractors and vehicles‚ ice fishing‚ hunting and spending hours on his Farmall tractor to plow his driveway in the winter. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved to work with his friends on the farm.
Sandy was well-known in his community. He was a volunteer firefighter with the Millerton Fire Department for 40 years and served as Second Lieutenant for some time. He was Superintendent of Highways for the town of North East and finished his employment years at the Salisbury School in Salisbury‚ CT. His fellow firefighters remember him as a fatherly figure who was an active‚ efficient and dedicated firefighter even in his last years with the department. He loved being a fireman and went to countless fires. He did whatever he could to help. His membership to the MFD gave him a sense of belonging‚ even until the day he laid down his life for the wellbeing of his community.
Whether you ask Sandy’s family‚ friends or fellow firefighters to describe him‚ you’re likely to get the same response: ‘Sandy was a joker and a prankster.’ He was always ready to make people laugh‚ and we really miss the sound of his laughter and his thick Scottish brogue. On the day of his funeral‚ when we all thought Sandy’s pranks were gone forever‚ he had the last laugh. One of the Millerton Fire Department’s fire trucks got stuck in the mud in the cemetery‚ and everyone just knew it had to be Sandy’s doing.
Sandy answered his last call to duty in the early afternoon of November 26th‚ 2006. There was a small grass fire in the schoolyard behind his home. He suffered a heart attack and died at the scene doing what he had loved for so many years: serving and protecting his community.