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Hero Down: Houghton County Sheriff Brian ‘Slim’ McLean Dies After Accident At His Home

Marquette, MI – Houghton County Sheriff Brian “Slim” McLean died on Tuesday after being injured in an accident at his home on Saturday night.

Neighbors rushed to help the 63-year-old sheriff after he suffered significant injuries during the unspecified accident on Saturday, The Detroit News reported.

An emergency medical crew also responded to Sheriff McLean’s home.

No other details regarding his injuries were released.

Sheriff McLean was hospitalized in critical condition in Marquette, where he passed away at approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday, according to his obituary.

He was surrounded by his family when he died.

“The sudden and tragic loss of this man who was both a leader and a friend, is hard to process,” Houghton County Undersheriff Kevin Coppo told The Detroit News. “Our hearts go out to his family during this truly difficult time.”

Sheriff McLean served the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) for 39 years, according to his obituary.

He also served the Houghton Police Department for four years prior to joining the HCSO.

Sheriff McClean was first elected to office in 1996 and has been re-elected every four years since then, The Detroit News reported.

The department said he “held the title of longest serving sheriff in the state of Michigan,” according to the paper.

“I’ve reached that age where I could say, ‘Well, I’ll collect my Social Security and just retire and walk away,’” the sheriff said just before winning his latest term last fall. “But it’s nice to be part of something meaningful. And I still have the drive to keep going.”

Sheriff McLean leaves behind his wife of 40 years, Kelly, as well as his children, Samuel and Katelyn, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his twin brother, two sisters, and many aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Sheriff McLean will be laid to rest on July 24.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Houghton County Sheriff Brian “Slim” McLean, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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