Robert Terry McLain
Robert Terry McLain
  • July 19, 1929 - August 18, 2017
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Share This Obituary

R.T. McLain passed away on August 18th, 2017 at the age of 88. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, August 25th, 2017 at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church, 1212 Bedford Drive, Nichols Hills, OK. He was born in Spearman, Texas on July 19th, 1929, the second child of Maynard and Vivian McLain, moving to Oklahoma City while a young child. He married his beautiful wife, Janet Williams, on November 14th, 1953 who predeceased him on July 23rd, 2014. He was also predeceased by his brother, Mason McLain, sister-in-law, Joye McLain, and his brother-in-law Culver Moe. RT is survived by his sister, Norma Moe; his five sons: Thomas Lachlan and fiancée Janet Patton, Richard Stuart and wife Karen, Charles Mitchell, Michael Leonard, Scott Andrew and wife Janet; twelve grandchildren: Katelyn and wife Amanda, Rebecca, Ryan, Stuart and wife Emily, Laura, Mary and husband Stephen, Jennifer, William, Mark, Taylor, Davis and Grant; and two great-granddaughters: Mya and Caroline. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Alice Williams West and husband Gordon, and brother-in-law Walter Lee Williams, Jr. and wife Patsy.
He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1951 and went on to OU Law School. His studies were interrupted by the Korean War, so after his wedding and honeymoon, he went to Korea as a ROTC 2nd Lieutenant and rose to "C" Battery Commander in the 39th Field Artillery Battalion, stationed in the Chorwon Valley at the DMZ, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Upon returning to Oklahoma City in 1955, he completed his law degree and became a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Instead of pursuing a career in law, he joined the Walter Williams family candy business in 1956, at that time a small general-line candy company. In 1964 he acquired the Bunte Candy Company which grew to be the fifth largest candy company in the US by 1991 when it was sold. During the course of his illustrious and prolific business career, he founded or purchased over a dozen companies, some affiliated with the candy industry, and some not. Asked at one time what accomplishment made him most proud, he replied: "Creating jobs. I've created or preserved quite a few in Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois and California". One highlight was assembling an entire city block for the candy manufacturing and warehousing operations. After the sale of Bunte, he developed the real estate into various restaurants, most notably the Bricktown Brewery. He was instrumental in the early development of the Bricktown entertainment district. He also partnered with all five sons in various business ventures, giving advice and counsel along the way, assisting them tremendously in their careers. He "retired" in January, 2013, but continued his role as mentor, friend, and business partner with a keen mind and savvy business sense until the end of his life. Special mention is made to his longtime executive assistant, LaVerne Beougher, who worked for RT since the early days of the candy company until the present. Her dedication, professionalism and perseverance, through good times and bad, is exceptional. RT often spoke of how grateful he was for LaVerne, whom RT's survivors consider to be part of the family.
RT's sense of family was paramount to him. He was raised in a very strong family setting and was greatly influenced by his father, who taught him a strong work ethic. RT delighted in the fact that the McLain Clan hailed from the Isle of Mull in Scotland. He celebrated his Scottish heritage and made it clear that the McLain Clan were underdogs, whose motto is "Conquer or Die," an attitude he embraced with enthusiasm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to Nichols Hills United Methodist Church.