Michael A. McLaren, age 62, of 115 Saranac Trail, Hendersonville, TN died suddenly on Monday evening, December 21st, 2020 of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident while traveling near his home.
Mike was born on July 25, 1958 in Oldenburg Holstein, Germany as the son of a British Army Military Policeman. Mike and his wife, Jody, moved to Hendersonville, TN in the summer of 2002 to assist in the opening of Pope John Paul II High School, where he served as the Dean of Students and History teacher from 2002-present and his wife as the School Nurse, retiring after 13 years. Prior to moving to Hendersonville, he and his wife lived in Subiaco, Arkansas where Mike served as Dean of Students for Subiaco Academy, a Benedictine Day and Boarding School in Arkansas from 1999- 2002. Mike also taught, coached, and served as Dean of Students at St. Anselm's Abbey School for boys in Washington D.C. from 1986 - 1999.
Mike grew up and was educated in Germany and the United Kingdom before joining the Royal Air Force in 1976. He played soccer for the RAF all over Europe. Following his military service, Mike came to the United States and enrolled in college at the University of Maryland from where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, minoring in History.
Mike also coached soccer in the Maryland/DC area for various youth Club teams and was a player in The Capitol League until he sustained an injury.
During the past nearly twenty years that he has worked at Pope John Paul II High School, Mike has served as Dean of Students, interacting with students through their successes and struggles in the classroom, on the soccer field, monitoring the parking lots during the morning and afternoon, chaperoning dances and athletic events - working with students in the myriad ways that define life at a high school. Beloved for his sensitive care for students in personal difficulty, his preternatural kindness and gentleness despite his enormous height and imposing appearance, his passionate teaching and his total dedication to his students in and out of the classroom, "McLaren" as he was known to all, became a totemic presence on campus and a cornerstone of the school's growth, excellence, success, and community spirit.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, William McLaren. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Joanna "Jody" McLaren, his mother, Eva (Schwark) McLaren, his sister, Jennifer (McLaren) McNeill, brother in law Kenneth McNeill, all of Scotland, his stepsons, Josh and Zack and two granddaughters, Emily and Alayna, "host daughter", Sarah Park, and 2 challenging dogs.
Visitation will be at Hendersonville Memory Gardens on January 2nd, 2021 from 10:00am-12 noon. Please wear a mask and social distance.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Pope John Paul II High School's Financial Aid Fund in memory of Mike McLaren
Visit the online obituary www.hendersonvillefh.com to post tributes and share memories.