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Harley "Curley" McLain

Harley "Curley" McLain, 88, of Hatton, ND passed away Monday, December 29, 2014 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND. A memorial service will be held Friday, January 2, 2015 at 2:00pm at the Hatton High School Gym in Hatton. A visitation will be held Thursday, January 1, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00pm with a 7:00pm prayer service at St. John Lutheran Church in Hatton.

Harley was born June 2, 1926 in Jamestown, ND to Harley W. and Almeda (Wittig) McLain. He grew up in Eckelson, ND and graduated from Mayville High School in Mayville, ND. In 1944, they won the state basketball championship. After high school, Curley attended Mayville State until being drafted. He was a sergeant in the United States Army during Korea. After the service, Curley returned to Mayville State to finish college. In 1947, he married Barbara Gulbranson in Mayville. Barbara passed away in 2004. Curley and Barbara moved to Hatton, where Curley taught math for a short time before becoming principal. He coached basketball, baseball, track and field, and 6-man football. Curley became the superintendent after being principal for a few years. He served 37 years at the Hatton School before retiring in 1987. After retirement, Curley became mayor of Hatton from 1990-2006. In 2006, Curley married Joy Ust at St. John Lutheran Church in Hatton. He also drove school bus for over 15 years. Curley enjoyed being a member of the Hatton Masons, Hatton American Legion, Red River Conference Athletic Board, 1990 Honorary Lifetime Member of the Association of High School Administrators, Honorary Lifetime Member of FBLA, Alumni Board Member of Mayville State University, a member of MAD MEN (Make A Difference Men), treasurer of the Hatton Community Club, and a member and on the board of the North Dakota High School Activities Association. He was also inducted into the Mayville State University Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame and the Mayville State University Coaches Hall of Fame. Some of Curley's hobbies include playing cards, gardening, sports, golfing, and watching his kids and grandkids's activities.

Survivors include his wife, Joy, Hatton, ND; Children: Ron (Nancy) McLain, Prior Lake, MN; Jon McLain, Prior Lake, MN and Maui, HI; Jerry (Tina) McLain, Chadron, NE; Mark (Becky) McLain, Bloomington, MN; Holly (Chris) Tinjum, Grand Forks, ND; Melanie Ust, Henderson, NV; Grandchildren: Casey (Brianna) McLain, Lindsay (Tommy) Anderson, Nathan (Annalise) McLain, Chelsea (Steve) Ribnick, Megan McLain, Aubrey McLain, Cassandra McLain, Josh McLain, Joe McLain, Jake McLain, Jonn McLain, Jamie McLain, Jazzy McLain, Shelby Curtis, Erika Tinjum, Dylan Tinjum, Tyler Tinjum, Donita Turner, Dom Turner; Curley is also survived by seven great-grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his parents, wife Barbara, brothers, Lloyd and Bernard "Bud" and sister Verla Ukestad.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harley McLain, please visit our flower store.


The year was 1969. I was about to enter the real world. I interviewed with Curly. It turned out to be a life altering experience. We spent the next eleven years with the Hatton Flyers. Barb and Curly were always supportive of me and my family. I retired a couple of years ago. Hatton has and will always have a special place in my heart. What a legacy! What a journey! From the bottom of my heart, I say thanks to a couple of true blue Flyers. And as they say in North Dakota, HUBBA! HUBBA!

Ron Aasen Jan 18 2015 12:00 AM

Curley was a great man who will be dearly missed. He was and always will represent Mayville State Univ. to me and many others. His kindness towards myself and my mother when she attended my games, will never be forgotten. Thoughts and prayers to all of his family, may he rest in peace.

Dawn Cruff Jan 6 2015 12:00 AM

Your in thoughts and prayers

Bonnie Rowell ( McLain ) Jan 3 2015 12:00 AM

Dear Joy and family. I offer my sympathy to the family. Curly lived life to the fullest and has left a great legacy in the loved he shared with his family and the community. God Bless you all. love Fran Evanson

Fran Evanson Jan 3 2015 12:00 AM

My sympathies to the McClain family. Mr. McLain was a great man. He always was a big supporter of me, and all the Lavin's. I have many fond memories of him. May his soul rest in peace. God Bless. Jim Lavin

Jim Lavin Jan 2 2015 12:00 AM

My Heart and Prayers are with All of the Family. After moving back to Hatton, getting to spend time with Curley at church and the American Legion was a special time for me. I will miss my friend, as so many others will. God Bless. Eric Pladson

Eric Pladson Jan 2 2015 12:00 AM

My sympathies to you, Joy, and your family. I didn't know Curly but I know Mom enjoyed working with him at Hatton. God bless!!

Patty (Grandalen) McDonald Jan 2 2015 12:00 AM

My condolences to the McLain family. As kids, Curley and my dad, Harold Rhodes attended The Congregational Church together in Sanborn. As adults, their paths often crossed as North Dakota educators and administrators. My life was enriched by knowing both Barb and Curley during my years teaching at Larimore. Both were always so positive, caring, and full of fun. They enriched the lives of all who were fortunate to know them! May your memories comfort you now and always.

Susan Rhodes Lang Jan 2 2015 12:00 AM

You have our deepest sympathies on the passing of Curly McLain. May God be with at this time and bless be the memories of Curly.

Jeff & Kay Peterson Jan 1 2015 12:00 AM

We want to express our deepest sympathy on the passing of "Curley". He was an admired and respected man in the community, region and throughout the state. Although we are unable to attend the service, we will be sending a memorial to Mayville State in his name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ron & Marie Timpe Jan 1 2015 12:00 AM

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