Eight Bells for Honorable Juliette (Judy) Clagett McLennan

The Honorable Juliette (Judy) Clagett McLennan, 77, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, died November 15, 2023, surrounded by family and friends.

Judy was born in Washington, DC, January 7, 1946. She lived in Chevy Chase, MD; along with Newport, RI; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Mont Tremblant, Canada; Washington, D.C. Easton, MD; and Portsmouth, R.I. No matter where she lived, she made lifelong friends and made a difference in her communities.

She retired from the U.S. Government where she served as The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women under President George H.W. Bush. She was the first to hold this post as an Ambassador. Prior to this appointment, under President Ronald Reagan, Judy was the Manager of Blair House, which serves as the President’s Guest House. Judy was active in Republican politics and served at national, state and local levels in a variety of positions from 1975-2023, including the campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Judy was proud to be a Lifetime Associate of the Fraternal Order of Police. In her work at Blair House, the Secret Service enlisted her as a member. She delighted in sharing lunch with her fellow members. She wore her Ferragamo’s and they wore tactical boots. They adored her as all her friends did.

Throughout her life, Judy was an influential leader in charitable and civic organizations, including the American Heart Association, The Hospital for Sick Children, The Naval War College Foundation, Newport Hospital, Seaman’s Church Institute of Newport RI and the Friends of the World Food Program. Her interests in internationalism led her to serve on the Board of the Belfast Children’s Summer Program, President of the Committee for a New Ireland, Trustee of the Meridian House International, and a Board Member of the International Center for Research on Women.

Her lifelong interest and participation in skiing and sailing led to her positions as a Board Member on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and as a member of the U.S. Sailing Committee for Sailors with Disabilities. She was an Associate Member of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and was once a co-owner of a ski school in Canada.

Judy co-founded and served as President of the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr., Memorial Clinic and Regatta for sailors with disabilities. The regatta is named after Judy’s father, Tom, who was a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on the Chesapeake Bay.

Her numerous awards and recognitions included National Women’s Economic Alliance Excellence in Leadership Award 1991; Leadership Maryland, Class of 2001; and one of three awardees of the 2010 Newport Daily News Community Service Award. She received the U.S. Sailing President’s Award in both 2003 and 2023. She was awarded the Wild Women of Newport County Award 2013.

She was a member of the New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Club, Clambake Club, Spouting Rock Beach Assoc., Chevy Chase Country Club, and The Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C.

Her Beloved dogs have been a source of joy and love over many years. Judy was known for her many dogs who accompanied her on numerous road trips and adventures.

Judy was an avid gardener and was a member of both the Talbot County, MD, Garden Club and the Newport Garden Club. She was awarded The Oatsie M. Charles Horticulture Award at The Newport Flower Show, The Newport Tree Conservancy has listed her property as the Toad Hall Arboretum.

Not only was her garden a riot of color but she held an annual Tulip Party to the delight of her friends and neighbors. Her vegetable garden bore delicious fruits that Judy shared. Many a fun day was spent helping her chop and prepare jams and other delights for canning. Friends also were treated to fresh eggs as Judy built a home for her chickens.

It was an apt addition to her life as so many of her friends were like her children, or her own chicks. They loved her as she loved them. Each friend had his or her own special relationship to Judy. She shared her love of life with all who knew her. Her passing has left an irreplaceable hole in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to call her their friend.

Judy is the daughter of the late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr., and Nancy Leiter Clagett. She is survived by her daughter Stephanie McLennan, son Travis McLennan, and grandson Dominic J. McLennan. Judy is also survived by her two beloved yellow Labradors, Miss Daisy and Margot.