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John W. McCluskey

Thu, 05/18/2023 - 10:52

Jan. 13, 1940 - March 21, 2023

John William McCluskey, a photographer and magazine publisher, Amagansett resident, and part-time resident of Greece, died unexpectedly on March 21 in Athens. The cause was a brain hemorrhage after a fall outside his home in Kypseli, a suburb of Athens. He was 83.

In his early career, Mr. McCluskey worked as a professional photographer, a skill that remained with him all his life. He then moved on to The New York Daily News before beginning work in advertising sales at the Hearst Corporation, selling space for various newsstand magazines.

He branched out on his own, taking over as publisher of Pro Quarterback magazine and then starting several newsstand magazines, among them Cars, Camera 35, Landscaping Homes and Gardens, Popular Photography, Scout Four-Wheel Drive, and other specialty publications.

He had done work as an extra some years back and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

In later years, Mr. McCluskey turned his interest to producing documentary films related to the Neolithic period of history in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and France, where he and his late son, also named John, traveled extensively filming passage tombs in those countries. He was a devoted father and caretaker to his son, who had a rare genetic neurobehavioral disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome, and was particularly devastated by his death two years ago.

He “was a funny, independent, good-hearted person who was not afraid to go against the grain,” wrote his former wife, Lois McCluskey. “He loved his family above all, was extremely intelligent and fiercely individualistic. He was definitely his own person and always aimed to do the next right thing.”

Mr. McCluskey was born on Jan. 13, 1940, in the Bronx to Thomas McCluskey and the former Mary Murray. He graduated from Power Memorial High School in that borough and attended St. John’s University before serving in the Army.

He is survived by three children, Sharon Johanson of the Bronx and Brian McCluskey and Diana LeBron, both of Amagansett. He also leaves eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A sister, Patricia Smallwood, and two brothers, Malcolm McCluskey and Thomas McCluskey, all of Florida, also survive.

In addition to his son John Frevert McCluskey, Mr. McCluskey’s daughter Carolyn Rampe died before him, as did Hailie LeBron, a granddaughter, and a sister, Margaret Graf.

He and his former wife were still very close at the time of his death and spoke to each other nearly every day, she said.

Mr. McCluskey, who was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, was cremated. The date and time of a memorial service are yet to be determined. His family has suggested memorial contributions in the name of John Frevert McCluskey to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association U.S.A., 1032 Brandon Boulevard, Brandon, Fla. 33511.

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