June 21, 1951 – June 10, 2020
Monica Anne McClelland, a positive life force with a big heart, passed away on June 10. She was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, sister, daughter, godmother and friend. She was the fourth of 10 children in the family of Tito and Josephine Gutierrez, both of whom are predeceased.
Monica grew up in Pacific Palisades where she lived with her parents and nine siblings. She attended Corpus Christi Elementary School and St. Monica’s High School.
Family and taking care of others were at the heart of Monica’s personal and professional life. She worked at C.F. Weston’s Jewelry Manufacturer’s in Santa Monica; a family business operated by her father, Tito Gutierrez, and owned by her aunt, Connie Weston. It was at “the shop” where she met William Bennet McClelland, “Bill,” who worked at the foundry across the street. Monica and Bill were married on May 20, 1972. They lived in Pacific Palisades where they raised their two sons, Chad Bennett and Shaun Marks.
In 1972, the McClelland family established Mc3 Inc. in Southern California, a sculpture foundry. The foundry has been serving the fine art community and the casting needs of sculptors and artisan craftsmen for over 45 years. Bill and Monica founded the business in a family environment where collaboration between artists and craftsmen are central to the creative process.
Monica had many passions in life. Above all, she loved being a mother and grandmother. She cherished her children and grandchildren. She was a loving wife, sister and daughter. A consummate caregiver, she took care of her mom until her death, allowing her to remain in the home where she raised her own family.
She shined the brightest when bringing together family and friends for celebrations of life’s milestones of weddings, births, birthdays, graduations and holidays. Hosting people in her home or on their sailboats, Monica always made sure everyone laughed a lot and was well fed with her culinary delights. She always opened her home and kindly welcomed people who needed a place to stay. She was an excellent hostess who was inclusive of everyone. Monica and Bill shared their passion for sailing, teaching her siblings how to sail and creating wonderful memories of sailing excursions on weekends, the summer Wednesday night boat races and trips to Catalina.
Monica’s personality was one of sparkle and shine. An authentic and genuine person, she tended to illuminate those around her instead of seeking limelight for herself. She always cheered accomplishments of others and gave credit to anyone who deserved recognition. Willing to jump into the fray, Monica defended the “underdog,” those who had no voice or could not defend themselves. She did not suffer fools or phony people lightly. When someone reached out to her for support, Monica was a forthright, trusted advisor. She never shied away from providing advice, sometimes unsolicited, but always well-intentioned. Monica had high standards for herself and everyone around her.
Monica was very clever, had a great sense of humor and a quick wit. She loved sharing stories of her life with family and friends. She was an engaging person who made a room full of people erupt in a fit of laughter when telling a story, a joke or sharing a bit of self-deprecation. Monica had a beguiling giggle and joyous laugh that were contagious.
Monica was an enthusiastic teacher of many things. Her aesthetic sensibility and talents included sewing, interior decorating, cooking and gardening. Whether making clothes for family members, decorating, or renovating a home, or helping others with creative projects, her skills shone. One of the best lessons Monica taught others was one of forgiveness. She practiced seeking it from others and gave it willingly when others sought it from her.
Throughout her life she never missed an opportunity to serve her community by sharing her talents and gifts of kindness in support of many causes. She volunteered as a young woman at St. Anne’s Maternity Home where she coordinated fund raising events. She was an active volunteer at Corpus Christi School. Monica and Bill also served the most vulnerable and young in the neonatal ICU at St. Anthony Medical Center where they cradled premature babies in need of human touch for healthy development at the beginning of life.
Monica loved to travel. She fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2018 of traveling to Egypt and enjoyed other recent trips to Europe and Ireland.
Monica was preceded in death by her parents, Tito and Josephine Gutierrez, and brother-in-law, Terry Mitchell. She is survived by her husband, Bill McClelland, and their sons and families, Chad McClelland (Ginny) and daughter Kalea and son Braydon, and Shaun McClelland (Estella) and daughter Elisabeth.
She is also survived by her nine siblings, Barbara Gutierrez, Tom Gutierrez, Michael Gutierrez, John Gutierrez (Maureen), Cris Gutierrez (Randy Ziglar), Leni Moore (Michael), Mary Mitchell, Jim Gutierrez (Debbie), Teresa Cahalan (John). She also had 10 nieces and nephews (JP and Matt Gutierrez, Brent Gutierrez, Caitlin and Brianna Moore, Tim and Kelly Mitchell, Kate, Chris, and Kevin Gutierrez).
The angels came for her all too soon. Monica’s beautiful spirit will live on in her loved ones, where it will provide inspiration and strength for those left behind. She was laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City on Monday, June 29.
In lieu of flowers, please send a gift in Monica’s honor to NO KID Hungry or another charity for children.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.