Memorial planned April 27 for Tricia McLean, 1962-2024

Family and friends will gather April 27 to remember Tricia McLean, and are sharing this remembrance now:

Tricia Lynn McLean; October 6, 1962 – March 18, 2024
An Obituary and Love Letter from a Brother, for a Sister

Tricia died. Tricia. Died. …

Two words that are so opposed to one another that, when uttered together, it is simply incomprehensible.

“Wait… Tricia? Died? What?! No!?!”

Our hearts skipped a beat, our stomachs dropped, our mouths went dry, and those words spun relentlessly in our heads as we struggled to comprehend the incomprehensible. Yet, that is what occurred on Monday morning, March 18, 2024.

At the time of this writing, full comprehension only now setting in, acceptance still far ahead, there is a case to be made that contradicts those words and this tragedy: Tricia didn’t die. Tricia lived!

Born Tricia Lynn Owen on October 6, 1962, she was the second of five children to Robin and Beverly Owen. This was a Catholic household, so the kids came fast and early, close together. It was loud, busy, often hilarious, sometimes maddening. But mostly wonderful – in that classic middle-class 1970s ‘Brady Bunch’ sort of way. We shared bedrooms, rode bicycles, traveled in station wagons, ate at the table, said grace, camped, went fishing, watched drive-in movies, attended softball games – all of it. And all of it together.

Yet, somehow, the five of us managed to carve out our own individual identities. Some would say we were independent. Some would even say we were fiercely independent. And none of us more fierce than Tricia. She always had a certain determination about her. I think she considered herself somewhat of an underdog. She had a chip on her shoulder that fostered the audacity to rise above her perceived commonness; to be that person capable of proving anything she believed was right. A rebel. She lived.

As we all grew, grade by grade, matriculating through St. Anthony’s School in Renton, and on through Renton High School, this strong-willed rebel became a stunningly beautiful young woman, utterly devoid of conceit. She hated her hair. But she loved style. Britannia jeans, painter pants. Tricia was the taste-maker among us. She brought disco into our house. She loved soul. Dad didn’t much care for it, but that was counterculture. That was breaking the mold. She was just so damned cool. And that was the life… she lived.

And as she grew into adulthood, that chip on her shoulder began to fill with intellect, cerebral prowess, dignity, and class. She became resolute in her opinions and her choices. She was someone who seemed determined to manifest her own destiny. Tricia went on to college at Central Washington University. She valued education. She said many times, even then, that she would prioritize education in her family. College, she said, would be a requirement, not a choice. This, coming from a young lady who had grown up in a blue-collar, working-class home. Again, breaking the mold.

And she was right. I think college is where Tricia put all the pieces of that fierce independent personality, keen intellect, and sheer beauty together. She formed lifelong friendships, brought college radio home in the summer (Dad didn’t much care for it), and she traveled, spending a summer in France. She lived.

And oh the boyfriends… so many suitors; so little chance…

Until one day, having graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting and beginning to forge her career doing the books for a small wholesale bakery, in walks this young man with sandy blond hair, a big wide smile, and a casual, confident demeanor. He shared her ambition, love for education, and so many formative experiences in common, growing up. All packaged within a rakish, boisterous attitude that contrasted with Tricia’s ferocity. It was, indeed, a match made in heaven.

This, of course, is a love story of its own. But, suffice it to say that I think Chuck McLean was the first man in Tricia’s life that ever truly fascinated her. She would tell me years later, “I wasn’t sure about Chuck at first, but each day with him just kept getting better, then each year, and so on. And it still just keeps getting better.” That stuck with me. That’s living.

Tricia and Chuck were married in a beautiful winter ceremony in Seattle on December 21, 1990, and found a house near Lincoln Park in West Seattle. She gave birth to two girls, Chelsea and Julianne, and a boy, Charlie (Chuck). The birth of her first child seemed to have a profound effect on her. My sister, Tracee, said that at the moment Tricia held her newborn daughter in her arms, her true faith awakened.

They raised their family in the Catholic Church at Holy Rosary Parish in West Seattle; the kids attended school there. And of course, Tricia became integral in that church and school community, even becoming the chairperson for organizing WestFest, a huge carnival-like fundraising event for the parish, and President of the School Commission. She loved her church and lived her faith.

She lived.

As her children grew (all of them attending college, of course), so did Tricia’s career. She started at the Seattle Storm in 2008 when she was hired as the Vice President of Finance and Human Resources and in 2014, became their Chief Financial Officer. The Storm had become as much her family as her church had been. She made room for all of it. Tricia was the biggest Storm fan I knew.

What I didn’t know was just how accomplished she was. In 2019 she was recognized by the PSBJ as a CFO of the year honoree. I had to find out from Chuck. It wouldn’t surprise me if only very few of her friends and family knew the full scope of her accomplishments because Tricia was the last person to bring praise or attention onto herself. She never craved the spotlight, often choosing to spend birthdays away somewhere with Chuck. She would hate all this fuss about her, now. But that’s what happens when someone you love suddenly goes away. With so many friends and colleagues – too many to list here – and her family who are her everything…

And here we all are, still in shock. Tricia was always such a straight shooter; she didn’t mince words if she had an issue with you. Indeed, I can only imagine that she is currently having a few words with God about the timing of all of this. And yet, nor did she mince words if she told you how proud she was of you, or how much she loved you.

So neither will I. This sucks. There is no silver lining that I can see to such an amazing person being plucked from us at this time. Although, I don’t suppose any time would be ideal – Tricia just kept ascending. This final ascent is hard for us. But Tricia’s faith was strong. And so must ours be, for if we lose it, we jeopardize the chance to see her again.

So let us all go on, and live like Tricia would, or as best we can. Because if we don’t, it’s death.

There will be a funeral mass on Saturday, 27 April, 2024 at 11 AM at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tricia’s name. A few of her favorite organizations include Mary’s Place, Holy Rosary School – Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund, and Turn Point LIghthouse Preservation Society. (The Lighthouse is where Chuck proposed and Tricia said “yes!”)

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

19 Replies to "Memorial planned April 27 for Tricia McLean, 1962-2024"

  • T Rex April 14, 2024 (11:03 am)

    The most heart  filled obituary I have ever read. And tears for a person and family I never knew. Stay strong, stay mighty, 

    • KT April 14, 2024 (3:49 pm)

      I am right there with you, T Rex. This is such a beautifully written piece, it could be a short story. Thank you so much to the family and WSB for sharing–these small windows into our community and their lives is invaluable. And, in this case, inspiring to me: a 34 year old gal who sees herself in Tricia’s spirit, someone I never had the pleasure of meeting. But, thanks to her incredible family, and the support of our amazing WSB, Tricia’s spirit will continue to live on in this life. Thank you again.

  • Anw April 14, 2024 (11:14 am)

    What a beautiful tribute to your loved one! Peace to you and your family and all who will suffer her loss. 

  • Cascadiarocks April 14, 2024 (11:17 am)

    What a beautiful obituary! Well written. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  • Millie April 14, 2024 (4:40 pm)

    What a remarkable woman and sister!  You are a remarkable brother.  What a loving tribute to your sister.  Memory Eternal!

  • Terry Scanlan April 14, 2024 (5:12 pm)

    Tricia was such a gift in the Holy Rosary community and such a beautiful human being.  I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear of her passing … I’m so grateful I got to know her even a little bit at HRS.  God bless the McLean family; we send our wishes for peace and God’s comfort to you all.  

  • sbre April 14, 2024 (5:40 pm)

    Pass the tissues, please! 

  • N. Admiral April 14, 2024 (6:52 pm)

    Well done, what a life! Tricia lived and that’s as it should be. All the best to the family, siblings, and children. Take care. 

  • Chrissy D April 14, 2024 (8:29 pm)

    I share the same sentiment as the other posts, what an incredible tribute to Tricia, I wish I knew her but feel that I do through your incredible string of descriptive words. Thanks for sharing this beautiful life.

    • Justin April 14, 2024 (8:43 pm)

      Agreed on all this. What a beautifully written obit.

  • SlimJim April 15, 2024 (8:51 am)

    From one former St. Anthony’s Roadrunner to another, Rest In Peace Tricia.

  • Christina April 15, 2024 (12:02 pm)

    This is such a beautiful and spot on tribute to Tricia. I was lucky enough to room with her and work with her at a truck stop in college. Nobody could look classy in a truck stop, but Tricia. She was fiercely independent, smart, and yes she hated her hair:) There was always a long line of boys waiting for a chance with her and Tricia was kind to everyone. We had many crazy shenanigans but I knew she’d be successful in life. She never bragged; she was always honest and she always made time for me. She gave big hugs and said “I love you” to her friends. Her and Chuck were a great team and she lover her family fiercely. I will miss her forever. Rest in peace my friend and save me a spot💔

  • Linda April 15, 2024 (1:01 pm)

    A perfect tribute to Tricia. Classy ,loving and a huge heart..lucky to hold a piece of her in my heart.She loved her upbringing and family dearly.. love you my forever friend Linda

  • Michael Clark April 15, 2024 (2:24 pm)

    A truly amazing tribute @Matt Owen.  My heart goes out to everyone there, can’t wait to give you all a hug. MC

  • Mark Day April 15, 2024 (4:01 pm)

    one of the most beautiful, humble people you could ever have the privilege to know.  thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute.  big love to the entire McLean & Owen family. We will miss her forever but grateful to have her spirit with us every day.

  • Delci April 15, 2024 (4:44 pm)

    Tricia was truly beautiful, radiant both inside and out. The memories we shared together will forever be etched in my heart, but my soul saddens for the plans that will never be. Being blessed with Tricia’s friendship was  gift beyond measure and one that I will always treasure. 

  • Tedi April 16, 2024 (12:04 pm)

    What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady.I can’t believe our Tricia is gone. A true friend since college. We all immediately clicked. A group of girls from large middle class families. We went through college having probably too much fun. We were all working our way through college. Staying in Ellensburg through the school year and summer months as well. We all graduated, but continued to maintain our tight friendship. We were in each other’s weddings, had babies, raised teenagers. We watched our kids marry and have babies of their own. Through all this, we would always plan CWU girls getaways, dinners out and remained the best of friends. Times together were full of laughter, reminiscing, wine, and sometimes tears.We are going to miss our dear friend so very much. Tricia was s gem! So much fun, so talented, beautiful, and so humble. She was an amazing mother, wife, daughter, mother, sister and as our little group knows first hand, friend.I will hold Tricia close to my heart. She was taken from us far too soon, but what a life! What an impact to those who all got to know her.

  • Leslie Leuschner (Tiede) April 22, 2024 (1:56 pm)

    A beautifully written “love letter to a sister from a brother” I have ever read. (Sigh)…. I knew Shelly and Shane … but no other siblings …. Now I do feel I know Tricia … but it’s too late to hear her laugh … She lived AND she was obviously very loved  … her legacy lives on in her beautiful daughters and loved ones left behind …Godspeed to the Owen family and beyond …. Sounds like a sudden parting and these are terrible at best (sigh)…. 💔❤️‍🩹💔

  • Shannon Burley April 27, 2024 (5:53 pm)

    Tricia taught me so many important lessons, I truly still can’t believe she is not longer with us. I was blessed to work alongside Tricia at the Storm.

    Some of my favorite lessons she shared are: “you would be surprised how far a kid can go on a spoonful of peanut butter, if they don’t eat, don’t stress, they will when they are hungry.” Or “cherish every moment your kids come cuddle in your bed, hers still did as grownups and she was so proud that she raised kids who enjoyed giving their mom a snuggle.” Also, “pay for the expensive photos, you won’t regret it.”

    Chuck and the kids were the light of her life. As I started my family I looked up to her and her beautiful family as inspiration.

    Tricia showed me how to be a successful working mom, what it looked like to put family first and how to bring your family into the joy of your job. Everytime you saw her she would light up, offer hugs and was genuinely interested in how everyone was doing.

    I am beyond grateful for the many years we had offices next door to one another, the many battles won together. I am a better mom and person because of this beautiful soul.
    Gone but never forgotten.

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