He was born in Chicago, IL on May 19, 1923, the son of Dalton and Maud (Kelsey) McClelland. He grew up in India and at the age of sixteen came to the United States, to attend Williston Academy and graduated in the Class of 1941. He continued his education at Yale University obtaining a Bachelors Degree in 1944, and went on to graduate from Yale Medical School Class of 1947. He did Post Graduate training in Surgery at Hartford Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Pondville Cancer Hospital. During his time at Yale, he was a member of the United States Navy V12 program. He was a Captain in the United States Army Medical Corp during the Korean War.
He had a General Surgery practice in Greenfield for 35 years, working at the Franklin Medical Center (now Baystate Franklin Medical Center) before his retirement in 1991.
His passion was classical music, playing bassoon in the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, Windham Orchestra, and the Four Seasons Ensemble. He played tennis and squash with a devoted group several times a week. He also enjoyed hiking on the Long Trail in Vermont. He was especially passionate about the Cleveland Indians and was anticipating a comeback to the World Series any year. He was a devoted dog lover and bird watcher.
Among his survivors, William leaves his beloved wife of 67 years, Betty Jean (Weake) McClelland; three children, Alan McClelland and his wife Patricia of Montague, MA, Jean McGowan and her husband Ed and James McClelland and his wife Terry, all of Greenfield; a brother, Dalton McClelland of Tucson, AZ; thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Also considered as part of his family was Soni Oyekan, an exchange student from Nigeria.
William was predeceased by a brother, Harry McClelland of California,and a sister, Marion Cramer of Ohio.