Dan McCue

Date of Birth

November 6, 1943

Date of Death

August 10, 2017

Industrial Designer, Master Falconer, Naturalist, Artist, and Family Man, Dan McCue, 73, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness. He was born in Alhambra, Ca. to the late Edward and Julia McCue. He married Sue (Ellet) in 1964.

Dan attended West Covina High School and earned a B.S. Degree in Industrial Design from Long Beach State University in 1966. Upon graduation, he was hired by McFarland Design in Long Beach. The firm relocated to Santa Barbara in 1968.

Dan and his wife, Sue, moved to their home in Mission Canyon, and raised their two children, Dana & Sean. It is still the gathering place for Thanksgivings, birthdays, BBQ’s and horseshoes with family and friends for almost 50 years.

In 1978 Dan partnered with Jim Hagerty to form McCue/Hagerty-Design Energy. With Dan as the aesthetic leader, the firm provided new product concepts and engineering support to a wide variety of industries. Client projects included the design of scuba gear, welding equipment, mobile fire suppression systems, high-end outdoor furniture, carbon fiber bicycles, motorcycles, heavy trucks, inter-city and school buses, and the Queen Mary Maritime Museum. Design Energy morphed into an automotive accessory product company with Dan as chief designer of a series of specialty automobiles known as “Mariah”. Dan was especially proud of his work with his son, Sean, on the Mode Six Mariah which was introduced at the L.A. Auto Show in 1990.

He enjoyed camping. Dan designed and built his own teardrop trailer, dubbed the “Campeze”, which received as much attention as his “Mazvagn”, a customized 1966 VW transporter equipped with a Mazda rotary engine. There were many favorite destinations over the years, and one of the highlights was a three month camping adventure to Alaska with Sue.

Horses were always part of Dan and Sue’s lives , and they enjoyed many years of trail riding in the backcountry of Santa Barbara. Upon retirement in 2004, he enjoyed working in his shop, tending to his ever-growing aloe collection and creating an ideal environment for himself and his family.

Falconry was also a life long passion. He was a member of the California Hawking Club and a mentor to many fledgling apprentices. An excellent teacher, he was always happy to pass on his knowledge of the sport.

Dan’s originality, creative spirit, knowledge and appreciation of nature, and his humor and warmth, will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 53 years, Sue, his daughter, Dana Lawton (Jon), his son, Sean (Isabel) and 4 grandchildren, Henry Lawton, Chester Lawton, Nina McCue and Anya McCue, as well as a wide circle of extended family and friends.

A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at the Santa Barbara Zoo from 4 – 7 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of his life may be made to the Santa Barbara Zoo in his name, or the charity of your choice.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.