The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 26, 2012

Warren McEleney

FULTON, Ill. — Feb. 9, 1922 - March 23, 2012

Warren McEleney, age 90, of Fulton, IL, passed away Friday, March 23, 2012 at his home.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27th, at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, in Clinton.  Visitation will be from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 26th, at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace.  Burial will be in St. Irenaeus Calvary Cemetery. Casket bearers will be his grandsons.  The Pape Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Warren was born in Clinton on February 9, 1922, the son of Leo and Elsie (Bonnemann) McEleney. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1939. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the General Motors Institute at Kettering University in Flint, MI.  Warren married Ellen J. O’Neil on June 10, 1944 at St. Mary’s Church in Clinton. Ellen passed away in December of 2008.

Warren served as a U.S. Naval Lieutenant JG during WWII in the Pacific Theatre.

Warren was employed at the Oldsmobile Division General Motors Corp. from 1940-1944. He began his career with McEleney Motors in 1946. Warren was named Dealer Operator of McEleney Motors in 1951 and served as Chairman of the Board from 1985-Present.

Warren was involved with many community organizations including: President of Clinton Chamber of Commerce in 1951; President of the Clinton Lyons Club in 1952; member of the City Planning Commission from 1956-1974; President of the Clinton Country Club in 1959; Clinton, Iowa United Way (Community Chest) Campaign Chairman from 1956-60; Co-Chairman of the YMCA Building Fund Drive in 1960; President of the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital; Co-Chairman of the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Capital Building Campaign; Director of Iowa State Savings Bank; Director of First National Bank; Executive Committee member of St. Mary’s High School Building Campaign; President of the Clinton Area Development Company in 1975; Co-Chairman of the YMCA Building Fund in 1976; Co-Chairman of the Clinton Area Development Corporation Fund Drive in 1983; Charter member of the Fulton Country Club; Izaac Walton League; member of Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish; a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus; Lay Advisory Board Member of Mt. St. Clare College; Lay Advisory Board Member of St. Ambrose College-Davenport, IA; member of the Parents Advisory Board-St. Mary’s College-Notre Dame, IN; Chairman of the Clinton County American Red Cross Fund Drive; Clinton Art Association and member of the Symphony Orchestra Association.

These involvements led to numerous awards/distinctions including: KROS Radio Clinton Man of the Year in 1951; Clinton, IA Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of the Year in 1952; Clinton Jaycees ‘Boss of the Year’ Award in 1972; YMCA Distinguished Service Award Clinton, IA in 1978 and the Mt. St. Clare College Community Leadership Award in 1979.

Warren’s service in the automotive industry included: the GM President’s Dealer Advisory Council 1958-59; National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Board of Directors Representing Iowa 1966; NADA Treasurer 1968; President-Alumni Board of Trustees GMI Engineering and Management Institute in Flint, MI; Chairman Oldsmobile National Dealer Council 1968; Elected as Iowa’s first and one of the youngest Presidents of NADA in 1971 at the age of 49, where he led the association of over 22,000 franchised new vehicle dealers; NADA Delegate to International Organization of Motor Traders and Repairers The Hague, Netherlands from 1972-75; Cadillac National Dealer Council 1973-74; Chairman – Chevrolet National Dealer Council in 1975 where he led the association of over 5,000 Chevrolet Dealers; Toyota National Dealer Council 1981-87; Vice President Automotive Hall of Fame Midland, MI 1983 and Chairman NADA Retirement Trust Board of Trustees from 1980-1988.  The automotive industry awarded Warren with numerous distinctions including: being elected to Honorary Lifetime Director-NADA 1972; elected as the only Honorary President-Iowa Automobile Dealers in NADA’s 95 year history; becoming Iowa’s first ever Time Magazine National Quality Dealer of the Year Award in 1977 when he represented 22,000+ franchised new-vehicle dealers in the U.S.; Dealer of Distinction Award-American International Automobile Dealers Association-1982; Distinguished Service Citation Award-Automobile Hall of Fame Midland, MI 1985; became one of six annual inductees into the Automotive Hall of Fame Midland, MI; Honorary Doctor of Management Degree conferred by GMI Engineering and Management Institute-Flint, MI 1995, and one of only five current inductees into the Inaugural Group Iowa Automobile Dealer Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Warren is survived by his daughter, Anne Hargrave of Iowa City; five sons, Thomas (Janet) McEleney of Clinton, John (Virginia) McEleney of Fulton, Daniel (Rose) McEleney of Clinton, Edward (Carol) McEleney of Iowa City and William (Tina) McEleney of Naperville, IL; 16 grandchildren; Michael (Sara) McEleney, Molly McEleney, Connor McEleney, and Mary McEleney, Erin (Nick) O’Grady, Shaun Hargrave and Meghan Hargrave, Alex McEleney, Creighton McEleney, and Devin McEleney, Allison (Keagan) Berg, and Andrew McEleney, Patrick McEleney, Mark McEleney, Stephen McEleney and Samuel McEleney; five great grandchildren; Adalyn, Gavin, Johnny, Carter and Campell; and a sister-in-law, Sharon McEleney of Sun City West, AZ.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a daughter Susan in 1972, his son-in-law John Hargrave in 1990, two brothers, James in 2001 and Dr. Donald in 2011.  Memorials may be made to Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish.  Online condolences may be left at

Death date: March 23, 2012

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