John Michael McCleary was born on June 8, 1932 in Shafter, CA. He is the youngest of 6 children, born to Ralph and Anna Marie McCleary. He left this world on May 16, 2016, at Auburn Valley Hospital, suffering from complications due to lung cancer, where he was being compassionately treated. He was 83 years old; just shy of his 84th birthday.
John is survived by 1 brother, Augustus (Gus) McCleary. He is also survived by 7 children; Christina McCleary, Michael McCleary, Mark McCleary, Matthew McCleary, Patrick McCleary, Annie Neumiller and Virginia Shook. John has many extended family (through the marriages of his children) that he has loved as his own children; Sammy Shook, Stephanie McCleary, Rebecca McCleary, Arman McCleary, Carrie McCleary and Efrat McCleary. He is also survived by his constant companion and long time friend, Alice Bailey, who brought much joy and love to John's life in his last years. She has become part of the extended family; beloved by all of John's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. From this large family, John and Nancy (who passed on 7/5/2011) have 15 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren...the McCleary Legacy will go on and on!
Graduating from high school in Gresham, Oregon, John enter the Marine Corps and was involved in the Korean conflict. After returning to Gresham, he married Nancy Carter and they started their own 'tribe' of little Irish clansmen/women to carry on his life mantra:
'Learn what you need...Treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself...Never look down on any person or job...Always put in a decent day's work'
Words to live by! John exemplified his words with actions and was a very positive person, who strived to be the best version of himself! His high values were instilled in his children, who have tried to make him proud by living truthfully/faithfully/happily.
John had several defining careers in his life. He spent many years in automobile sales at Scarff Ford in Auburn and had a yery loyal customer base; he even received calls from former customers years after he started a new career. He was also a manager for Person & Person Homes in Auburn from the late 70's into the 80's; supervising all facets of custom home construction, while fulfilling his love for construction detail that resulted in many happy home owners.
John loved playing golf; hacking away many a Sunday morning with his cronies: Roger Durr, Ray Bascom, Keith Endersbe and Joe Poole. Whenever asked how he played, he would invariably reply 'AWFUL'!!! We, who loved and knew him, were aware of his sarcastic tendencies...especially when it came to his golf game! He was in his element riding his John Deere lawn mower, clipping away at his 1+acre parcel of land on Lea Hill in Auburn. Many times, he would appear with a blue bandana tied around his forehead like a headband, weeding, planting and beautifying the home he shared with his wife of 58 years, Nancy. The family home was a haven for all his children and grandchildren; many a happy Sunday and holiday dinner were enjoyed by the McCleary clan and friends, while noisy youngsters were sent downstairs for the adult's sanity.
John McCleary leaves this world a better place for his being here! He was a simple, yet very complex character, who loved completely and anyone lucky enough to be in his circle knew this. A quote from Shakespeare with Hamlet speaking of his deceased father reminds us of John. It goes:
'He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not see his likes again'
Until we meet again...we will never forget you John/Dad/Grandpa!