Stephanie B. McClernan-Krech, age 75, passed away peacefully at home in Oak Harbor, Washington, on Sept. 24. Throughout her career, Stephanie actively supported the AOC and served multiple terms on the AOC Board of Directors, in addition to her term as AOC President.
The daughter of John and Katherine Buckley, Stephanie was born Oct. 27, 1947 and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She began her career in the defense sector at AAI in Hunt Valley. There, she joined a team developing the first training device for the emerging EA-6B Prowler in the 1970s, as well as for all the successor devices developed by the company. For the next 40 years, she visited Naval Air Station Whidbey Island often and attended every symposium, major change of command and Prowler Ball. She was a passionate EW supporter and developed many life-long friends in the Navy electronic attack community. At AAI, Stephanie was also involved in developing EW crew training systems for Air Force programs, such as the EC-130H Compass Call.
Stephanie loved the AOC. She was active in her local chapter, the Chesapeake Roost, as well as supporting other chapters. In the 1990s, she was elected to the AOC Board and participated in all association functions, including the international symposium and regional symposia. She organized key visits to Capitol Hill for members of Congress and their staff. Stephanie’s service to the AOC culminated in her election to be the first female AOC President. The 9/11 attacks occurred during her tenure, and she successfully guided the association as procedures for advocating EW in the Pentagon and Congress shifted. After her term, Stephanie continued to serve on the board as Past President and again as a regular director. She was honored with the AOC Silver Award and Life Achievement Award.
After retiring from AAI, Stephanie moved to Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in 2015. In 2018, she married Kenneth Krech. She is survived by her husband and her sister Susan (Buckley) Pfarr of Abingdon Maryland. She was preceded by in death by her parents and brother Michael.
In accordance with her wishes, Stephanie will not have any services in Oak Harbor. Her remains will return to Maryland to join her family. Stephanie’s inurnment will be limited to the immediate family.
Donations can be sent to the AOC Educational Foundation or local scholarships at AOC local chapters.