OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Theodore “Ted” Ruffing McClard, was a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, at his time of passing. He died peacefully June 27, 2019, at the age of 81 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Captain Ted successfully completed his final flight with clear skies and some mild turbulence, he had a smooth touchdown in Heaven, a landing that would make any pilot proud. Goodbye and Godspeed Dad, we wish you ceiling and visibility unlimited.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. July 5, 2019, at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road in Kansas City, Missouri. A funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. July 6, 2019, in Leawood, Kansas, at the Church of the Nativity. A private inurnment will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Ted was born on March 11, 1938, (along with his twin brother, Tom) in Bonne Terre, Missouri, to Arlie and Margarette McClard. Later, was raised in Farmington, Missouri, on the family ranch, McClard Hereford Farms. He attended the University of Missouri (along with his twin brother, Tom) and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order (along with his twin brother, Tom) and received a BS in Agriculture. Immediately following graduation, Ted (along with his twin brother, Tom) joined the Navy and completed flight training in Pensacola, Florida. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served 2 tours of duty on the USS Oriskany. During his military career, he was awarded 3 Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. While on the USS Oriskany (along with his twin brother, Tom), Ted flew F-8 Crusaders with over 250 carrier landings using the call name “Super Heat 232.” In 1966, Ted was honorably discharged from the Navy and began his civilian flying career with Continental Airlines (along with his twin brother, Tom — who signed on with Delta Airlines). Over the course of 36 years, Ted flew the following aircrafts: DC-9, 727, DC-10, 707 and 737s. On occasion, after a trip, Ted would remark about being able to chat with his twin brother Tom on the radio while flying their respective flights.
After leaving the Navy, Ted met and married Phyllis Ann Brooke in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of his airline career, the family moved to Palos Verdes, California, and eventually settled in El Paso, Texas. After retirement, he enjoyed volunteering with the Daedalians and the War Eagles Air Museum in El Paso, Texas. He enjoyed the simple things in life, his family, friends, his 69 Camaro, country western music, and a beer by the pool.
Ted is survived by his wife of 51 years, Phyllis; by his daughters, Meg Puente and her husband Stephen, and Kate Carr and her husband Patrick; five grandchildren, PC, Maggie, Teddy, and twins Tomas and Mateo; in addition to Ted’s twin brother, Tom. Ted was also a beloved uncle to a remarkable number of nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his son, Teddy, who died in infancy; his sister, Camille; and his parents Arlie and Margarette. Please share a memory at www.mcgilleystatelinechapel.com.
Happy Trails, Captain Ted.