Dr. Hector “Clive” McAlister was born on the 6th of May, 1895 in Brownsville, (Oxford County) Ontario. His father Rev. William George Hector McAlister was a Methodist Minister, as was his grandfather. His mother, the former Charlotte Plewes was the daughter of a wealthy miller, David Plewes. She grew up in Riverview Mansion in Brantford, Ontario and attended private schools. She became a published author. Dr. McAlister had an older brother named Fred George McAlister, who became a lawyer and was the Mayor of London (Ontario) in 1946.
Dr. McAlister was raised in various communities, primarily in Southwestern Ontario. In 1901 he was residing in Watford, Ontario and in 1911, he was living in Blenheim, Ontario. By 1916, Dr. McAlister’s parents were living in Ridgetown, Ontario.
On the 9th of December, 1916 Dr. McAlister enlisted in World War I. On his Officers Declaration Paper, he listed his address as Ridgetown.
Just two days after Dr. McAlister enlisted, he graduated M.B. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. (Of note is the famous Canadian that was also in his graduating class….Sir Frederick Banting.) Dr. McAlister served overseas in England and France with the Canadian Army Medical Corp and he achieved the rank of Captain. His unit was demobilized on the 12th of June, 1919.
After the war, Dr. McAlister returned to Ridgetown. On the 12th of June, 1920, Dr. McAlister married Ethel Muriel Anderson in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mrs. McAlister was born on the 3rd of April, 1897 in Huron County, the daughter of David Alton Anderson and the former Minnie Louisa Elliott. Mrs. McAlister had 2 younger brothers, Dalton (1901-1912) and Norman (1915-2003). Mrs. McAlister’s father was a dentist. According to the 1911 census, the Anderson Family had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
After their marriage, Dr. McAlister practiced in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They had 3 children, all born in Winnipeg. Their son, Dalton Clive McAlister was born on the 9th of August 1921, and twin daughters, Muriel Joyce McAlister and Dorothy June McAlister were born on the 7th of April, 1923.
In 1927, the family immigrated to Indiana, U.S.A. According to the 1930 census, they settled in Fort Wayne and resided at 1021 Northwood Blvd. In 1934, Dr. McAlister was the President of the Old Fort Players Theater Company. He appointed a committee to create a Junior and Children’s Company branch, of that organization. The 1940 census listed the address for the McAlister family as 917 Wildwood in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This address also appeared on the registration card, that Dr. McAlister completed when he enlisted in World War II. His occupation at that time was The Medical Director of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company.
Dr. McAlister was killed in a plane crash, on the 28th of April, 1951. He boarded a DC-3 in Cleveland, Ohio on his way home to Indiana from a business trip to Montreal. The airplane crashed as it attempted to land in a storm at Baer Field Airport Fort Wayne, Indiana. All persons on board were killed; 8 passengers and 3 crew.
Mrs. McAlister died on the 6th of April, 1992. Dr. and Mrs. McAlister are buried at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
*Dr. McAlister is also featured on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website.