Steve McClanahan

Updated: Mar 29

January 11, 1953 - March 15, 2021

Steve McClanahan

It was truly a shock to family and friends when Steven McClanahan, 68, passed away after a brief Covid -19 illness on March 15, 2021, in a Modesto hospital.


A native of the Concord area, he was born January 11, 1953, and moved to Ripon some 58 years ago at the age of 10 with his family and became a lifelong member of the community where he spent his final years with his life’s partner Carrie McClanahan Cooksey.


He was a graduate of Ripon High School.


Carrie spent the last eight years with Steve and never left his side. He and Carrie enjoyed many projects and adventures during their years together with trips through California, Oregon, Nevada, and Hawaii. They loved working together and were a great “team.” Steve taught her how to do stained glass and they worked side-by-side in creating special pieces for family members. They both enjoyed cooking together as well.


Steve began dating his first wife Susan when the two were just 15 years old and they were married nine years later and had two children, daughter April and son Clayton after joining the workforce at 12 as a dairy and farmhand.


He launched his engineering career at the Nestles Coffee plant in Ripon in 1977 working in Systems Maintenance. Steve then took a position with the California Department of Corrections at the Duel Vocational Institution (DVI) in Tracy where he served as a Stationary Engineer for more than 21 years.


A number of junior engineers will remember Steve as being their mentor in the trade. His responsibilities included oversight, offering, and cooling systems, boiler house management, and any assigned system within the infrastructure of the prison as well as supervising inmate employees. He retired at the age of 57 taking on personal projects of his liking.


Years ago, Steve constructed the family home on Wilma Avenue in Ripon where he and his wife Susan raised their family. He was said to be a craftsman who could fix “nearly anything.” He restored a 1969 Ford Mustang, Mach 1 Coupe and built a cabin in Fort Bragg, CA, with his late uncle, also restoring a 1956 Ford pickup truck. Steve was said to be resourceful and meticulous and fond of woodworking and stained glass projects.


Steve thoroughly enjoyed working with Carrie in a family vegetable garden and loved sharing their meals and preserved foods together. He was passionate regarding nature conservation, reducing carbon emissions, and helping juniors engineers in their trade.

His pragmatism and hate of waste were noted by all who knew him well. Steven had an ear for music and enjoyed playing his guitar which he shared with his daughter April and granddaughter Jessica. He obviously cherished annual camping trips to Oregon and Coastal California.


A private Celebration of Life was to be held at the family home in Ripon.


He is survived by his parents Robert and Levenya McClanahan along with his children April Capell (Daniel) of Santee, CA and Clayton McClanahan and (Karee-Lee) of Bend, Oregon as well as his two sisters Paris Douma (Donald) and Leslie McClanahan of Cannon Beach, Oregon.


Grandchildren surviving include Jessica and Nicolas Perreira of Ripon, Logan and Ryder McClanahan of Bend, Oregon, and Luke Capell of Santee, CA.


Arrangements were under the direction of Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel of Ripon. Any memorial donations may be made to the Ripon Interfaith Ministries in Steven’s name.

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