Obituaries — June 26, 2019

RADM Robert Brock McClinton

July 1, 1925 – April 12, 2019

His family is saddened to report that RADM Robert Brock McClinton, Commanding Officer of USS TURNER JOY from May 1965 to October 1966, and former Bremerton Historic Ships Association board member, passed away on April 12th at his home in Sequim.

Bob graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1947, and embarked on a 35-year career as a Surface Line officer. Prior to taking command of USS TURNER JOY, Bob served as a Division Officer on USS MISSISSIPPI (BB 41/EAG 128) and USS FRESNO (CL 121), as a Department Head on USS DYESS (DDR 880) and USS DOUGLAS H. FOX (DD 779), as Commanding Officer of USS CONFLICT (MSO 426), and as Executive Officer of USS NORFOLK (DL 1).

During his command tour on TURNER JOY, he led the ship through a combat deployment to Vietnam from July 1965 to January 1966. This included operations on Yankee Station in support of USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43), and USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14), as well as naval gunfire support (NGFS) missions along the length of the South Vietnamese coast, from Chu Lai in the north, to the Mekong Delta in the south, to the Gulf of Thailand in the west.

During its operations on the gunline, TURNER JOY conducted 84 missions, expending over 2,000 rounds of ammunition. This included the first ever NGFS missions fired from the Gulf of Thailand against targets on the west coast of South Vietnam.

Following his tour on TURNER JOY, Bob commanded USS DETROIT (AOE 4), and was subsequently promoted to Rear Admiral. His flag officer assignments included tours as Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Commander, Naval Surface Group, Western Pacific, and Commandant, Sixth Naval District headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bob retired from the Navy, in 1982, and settled with his wife, Gunvor, in Sequim.

Following his retirement, he was an active bicyclist, including rides from Canada to Mexico, and a ride in 1995 from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean at the age of 69. His driving force was Òfor the fun of it,Ó and raising money for the Fred Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Research.

He was also a certified flight instructor in single engine planes.

In his later years, he loved sailing and racing sailboats with his crew, even after two hip replacements and a knee replacement. He and his crew won the last race he sailed on Sequim Bay, just six days before he passed. Again, his driving force was being with friends and family, and raising funds for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County. Over the years, he and his crew raised over $100,000 for Hospice, with the help of many generous donors.

Bob was a proud member and past commodore of the Sequim Bay Yacht Club, and a proud member of the Association of Naval Airmen (ANA).

Admiral McClinton was survived by his wife of 70 years, Gunvor Maria Elisabeth Nyzell McClinton. She has since passed away, on June 8, 2019, just eight weeks after Bob, in Virginia.

Bob is survived by two daughters, Joyce E. (Eric) Leigh, of Eagle, Idaho, and Kim M. (John) Lyttle, of Berryville, Virginia; four grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and several cousins.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the Sequim Bay Yacht Club.

After the ceremony, Bob received full military honors. Following that, his ashes and those of his wife of 70 years, Gunvor, were put aboard his sailboat, the America. Anyone who wished to join in sailing or motoring out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to spread their ashes together, was welcome to join.

Gunvor M. McClinton

January 9, 1925 – June 8, 2019

Her family is sad to report the passing of Gunvor Maria Elisabeth Nyzell McClinton on June 8, 2019.

Gunvor was born and raised in Torshalla, Sweden, on January 9, 1925.

Gunvor owned a hair salon in her youth. On a trip with several friends to Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, Denmark, she met a young naval officer, Ensign Robert (Bob) McClinton. After five days, the young officer wisely proposed, through an interpreter, and Gunvor accepted.

Returning home, she began learning English. She soon sailed to America, where she was met and stayed with BobÕs father and stepmother, until his tour of duty was over. They married on July 1, 1948 in Bronxville, New York. She became his greatest supporter and did double duty as a full time mother and a ÒNavy Wife.Ó

They were married for 70 years. Bob retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral in 1982 and, in effect, she retired from the Navy at the same time. They moved first to Sun Valley, Idaho, and then to Sequim, in 1985.

Bob predeceased her on April 12, 2019, very suddenly, due to Congestive Heart Failure.

Gunvor is survived by two daughters, Joyce E. (Eric) Leigh, of Eagle, Idaho and Kim M. (John) Lyttle of Berryville, Virginia.

She also has four grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; along with a niece and several other relatives in Sweden.

Through the years, she was a supportive wife, a loving mother, a doting grandmother and great-grandmother, and the ultimate hostess and gourmet cook. Both Bob and Gunvor had many, many friends in Sequim and around the world.

She will be sorely missed.

A memorial service was held Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the Sequim Bay Yacht Club. After the ceremony, Bob received full military honors. Following that, his ashes and those of his wife of 70 years, Gunvor, were put aboard his sailboat, the America. Anyone who wished to join in sailing or motoring out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to spread their ashes together, were welcome to join.

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