Dr. Ray Irvin McLellan, 62, died Friday, April 30, 2021, in his home. A native of Zephyrhills, Florida, Ray graduated from Zephyrhills High in 1976 and began his long career in music as the organist for the First United Methodist Church in town while a teenager. He attended Florida Southern College, in Lakeland, Florida, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in music in 1980 and then the University of Michigan, achieving a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He remained a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for over 40 years, becoming an integral part of the Ann Arbor, Monroe and Lansing communities. After many years of training at the University of Michigan, Ray was made the University Carillonneur at Michigan State University in 1997, playing the set of 49 bells inside Beaumont Tower on campus in weekly concerts, the melodious peals of which could be heard across campus and beyond. Ray also traveled many times to perform carillon concerts in places such as Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. He was also the organist and music director at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Monroe, Michigan, for 36 years, and the organist and pianist at the Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor for 28 years, playing weekly services and special events, such as weddings. Ray was a kind, well-loved friend to all, and a beloved baby brother to his three siblings. He had a profound, lifelong love for music of all forms, and he cherished sharing his talent and passion with audiences around the world. He enjoyed traveling, as well as making frequent visits to his family in Florida. Ray was also a cat-lover and a lover of animals. He had a deep fondness for Ann Arbor and the Universities of Michigan and Michigan State, and never wanted to live anywhere else. Ray is survived by his three siblings, Shirley Huggins of Port St. Joe Beach, Florida; Richard McLellan of Tallahassee, Florida; and Joanie (Kim) Joyner of Lakeland, Florida. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert McLellan and Lenore McLellan Winebarger. The family extends a special thank you to his dear friends, Jamie Aumend and Dave and Crista Liedel. The memorial service will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish in Monroe, Michigan at 11 am on June 19, 2021. The family will receive friends from 10-11 am prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ray’s name to the Michigan State University Carillon Support Fund (1-800-232-4MSU) or St. Michael the Archangel choir (1-734-241-8645).
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Ray Irvin McLellan, please visit our tribute store.