Vernon Lee McLean, the old Rouse Co.'s retired director of landscaping, died of pneumonia Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 88 and had lived for many years in Timonium.
Born in West Friendship, he attended Lisbon High School and served in an Army tank unit during World War II, participating in the Battle of the Rhine. He attained the rank of lieutenant.
After the war he worked 19 years for Towson Nurseries, and in 1965 joined the Rouse Co. He worked at the Village of Cross Keys and in Columbia before retiring in 1989. Family members said he supervised the landscaping of numerous Rouse malls.
He received letters of commendation from three first ladies: Lady Bird Johnson, whom he met at a Palm Springs, Calif., ceremony; and Patricia Nixon and Rosalynn Carter, who received him at the White House's Blue Room. Ceremonial pictures of Mr. McLean and the first ladies hung in the Rouse Co. headquarters for many years.
He also enjoyed photography, chair caning and working with old clocks.
About two years ago, Mr. McLean moved to Oak Crest Village in Parkville.
Services were held yesterday in Cockeysville.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, the former Lucile "Suey" Brown; a daughter, Diana M. Gorney of Cockeysville; and two grandchildren.