Longtime Zephyrs coach dies
In five decades, McClone coached three sports at St. Mary Central
MENASHA -- Legendary high school coach Ralph "Cyclone" McClone died on Saturday, May 31.
McClone, 82, coached the Zephyrs of St. Mary Central High School of Neenah/Menasha to several state basketball championships over a career that spanned five decades. He also coached football and baseball for the school over the years.
McClone, son of Anthony and Marie (Moran) McClone, was born on Dec. 23, 1925 in Black Creek. He attended St. Mary High School in Menasha and Marquette University, where he earned the nickname "Cyclone". He served in the Navy during World War II and married Rita Suess at St. Patrick Church in Menasha on June 21, 1947.
McClone first taught at St. Mary High School, then went into insurance sales and founded the McClone Agency, while continuing to coach at the school. He was later elected as a charter member of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame and as a member of the Wisconsin Coaches' Hall of Fame. He was a past president of the Wisconsin Coaches' Association and the Menasha Chamber of Commerce, and a Knight of Columbus.
When the new St. Mary Central High School was built in 1997, the gymnasium was named in his honor.
The visitation and Mass of Christian Burial were both celebrated in the Ralph "Cyclone" McClone Gymnasium on June 7. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Menasha.
McClone is survived by his wife, Rita, and their children: Kathleen (John) Jauquet, Michael (Claudia), Kevin (Grace), Daniel (Cathy), Molly (Herb) Horn, Maureen Lamers, Timothy (Lynn), Patrick (Diane), Brian (Joann), and Kelly McClone; 26 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and former students. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Timothy Lamers.
Memorials may be made to the McClone Scholarship Fund at St. Mary Central High, 1050 Zephyr Road, Neenah, WI, 54956.