Services for Donald F. Cleary, age 84, will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle St., Fairport Harbor.
Donald passed away peacefully Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born Dec. 27, 1927, in Painesville to Frederick Thomas and Aura (Kasari) Cleary.
Upon graduation from Fairport Harding High School in 1946, Donald joined the U.S. Army during World War II, where he served as a Sergeant in AF WES PAC Hdg. in the Philippine Islands. When he returned home, he married Juanita Steinback Nov. 27, 1948, at Zion Lutheran Church. Donald also attended Lakeland Community College.
Donald worked for Diamond Shamrock Corporation for 36 years, retiring in 1983, as plant superintendent of maintenance at the Painesville plant and Delaware City, Del. He also worked for Russell Thomas Realty.
Donald was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who loved spending time with his family. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in sports and extra-curricular activities.
He took an active role to support Fairport's football program from serving on the chain gang, being the announcer, and even driving the team bus. He also helped with the Skippies football team. During his last three years of high school, he played on the undefeated FHS football team.
An athlete and sports enthusiast all his life, Donald was also an avid golfer. He had a passion for home building and remodeling. He and his wife, Juanita, loved to travel throughout the U.S. and trips abroad to Finland, England, France, Belgium, and Holland.
He spent his spare time attending to the needs of others and in doing so he touched the lives of many. His sense of humor was central to his character and he was always ready with a joke or anecdote. His words, wisdom and thoughtful actions will not soon be forgotten.
Being a longtime area resident, Donald was always active in community affairs and organizations. He served on the Fairport Board of Education for eight years and was a past president and vice president of the Fairport Athletic Booster Club, past president of Fairport McKinley PTA, past president of the Diamond Shamrock Management Club, past secretary and chairman of the Fairport Zoning Board, past Board of Directors Fairport Harbor Credit Union, served on the Fairport Village Council, past secretary of the Painesville Rotary and honored as a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Fairport Historical Society, Finnish Heritage Museum, Fairport Harding Alumni Association, Friends of the Fairport Public Library, Fairport Harbor Senior Center, Fairport VFW Post 7754, American Slovenian Club, Hungarian Culture Club, and Painesville Elks Club.He was active in the scouts in the 1950s and 1960s.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and served on the council, property committee, finance committee, choir, ushered, Men's Bible Study, was a Sunday school teacher, participated with the breakfast bunch, and was Santa Claus at functions. He also organized many of Fairport Harding High's Class of 1946 past reunions.
Survivors are his beloved wife of 63 years, Juanita (Steinback) Cleary; daughter, Cynthia (Gary) Avalon of Perry; son, David (Karen) Cleary of Albany, N.Y.; grandson, Thomas (Carolyn) Beach of Painesville Township; granddaughters, Stephanie and Amy Avalon of Perry; great-grandchildren, Sydney and Sullivan Beach of Painesville Township; brother, Richard (Margaret) Cleary of Temple City, Calif.; sister-in-law, Helen Steinback of Fairport Harbor; many nieces and nephews; and also many loving friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Thomas F. Cleary; parents, Frederick T. and Aura (Kasari) Cleary; stepfather Erland N. Ahlberg; and sister, Norma J. (Cleary) Saari.
Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church and from 10 to 11 a.m. before the funeral Saturday. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in Donald's name to Zion Lutheran Church, 508 Eagle St., Fairport Harbor, OH, or to the Hospice of the Western Reserve, 300 E. 185th St., Cleveland, OH 44119.
Arrangements are being handled by Potti Funeral Home.