Kathleen Anne McClelland, 70, of Opelika, Alabama, passed away on Aug. 1, 2022, at Bethany House Hospice in Auburn. Kathy was born on March 29, 1952, in Lawrence, Kansas. Her parents were William F. McClelland and Peggy Davis McClelland, both originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and later from Alex City/Lake Martin.

Kathy graduated from Jefferson Davis High School and Huntingdon College. She earned a Doctor of Education degree from New York University and began her career in the field of English Education. She taught at the University of California-Santa Barbara and at Auburn University where she helped administer the Composition Program.

Kathy took pride at Auburn in helping graduate students become acclimated to teaching composition and later in helping Auburn University faculty integrate technology into their course work. She also took pride in being an “Air Force Brat,” living in Lawrence, Kansas; Houston, Texas; Waco, Texas; Tampa Florida; Kenston, North Carolina; Lubbock, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Yokota AFB in Japan — and that’s all by the age of seven. Her father Bill McClelland was an Air Force officer and Viet Nam veteran, and her mother Peggy was an elementary school teacher, most recently at Maxwell Air Force Base. Finally, Kathy took special pride in her Scottish roots as an active member of Clan MacLellan.

Her family history has her first word being “kitty” which is entirely appropriate considering how devoted she has always been to her beloved cats: Butter Brickle, Delilah Pearl, Cleo Catra, Simone Simon, Nastassia Kinski, and Graciela Rodo (a.k.a. Gracie, who still happily resides on Beverly Drive in Opelika).

Her husband, John Hagerty, will miss all the enormously thoughtful things she has done for him: e.g. switching from a standard to an automatic transmission so he could drive her car; using her online expertise to keep him informed about his nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews — all of whom are from his side of the family; refusing to lord over him the fact that she was an oenophile while he drank wine from a box; and most importantly pretending to celebrate the successes of his beloved Chicago professional sports teams (the Bulls in the 90s and the Blackhawks in the 10s) and pretending to commiserate with their failures (the White Sox except in ’05 and the Bears with no exceptions).

He will also miss watching thoroughbred horse racing with her on TV and trying (and failing) to pick more winners than she did, binge watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and laughing out loud, and watching HGTV with her as she generated new ideas to improve her dream home in Sanders Creek.

Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Peggy McClelland, and she is survived by the aforementioned husband as well as a younger brother, Michael McClelland of Mobile. Visitation was held on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home, 1801 Frederick Road in Opelika.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the Lee County Humane Society or the Food Bank of East Alabama.

Lee County Humane Society
1140 Ware Dr.
Auburn, Alabama 36832
334-821-3222 or

Food Bank of East Alabama
355 Industry Dr.
Auburn, Alabama 36832


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