John Cleveland

John Cleveland was born on March 2, 1923 to Mary Vernia Elizabeth (White) Cleveland and Willie Carl “Bill” Cleveland at Chaney, OK in their home, a dugout.     He passed away at his home in Ft. Supply on April 9, 2013, at age 90 years, 1 month, 7 days.

John grew up on the home place at Gage, OK, where he had many boyhood adventures, including trapping and hunting.  His trapping provided him money to buy his first pair of boots and his first gun, at the age of 9 or 10.  He was also a noted horse trader as a 12 year-old.  He attended a country school until 8th grade, and then went to Gage Schools, where he played football, and was the right tackle for the team.  He wore blue jeans, chambray shirts, and a Stetson hat most every day of his life, until the last few years when he discovered that sweat pants and pajamas were comfortable.

Pearl Harbor was bombed and the U.S. entered World War II in 1941. He married Earlene King on May 9, 1942 at Canadian, TX.  John enlisted in the Navy on January 17, 1942, and spent the next 5 years serving his country, aboard a ship in the Pacific Theatre as Gunner’s First Mate and Petty Officer.  After the war, he returned to the home place at Gage where he engaged in the family’s farming and ranching operation. To this union were four children born, Richard, Gary, Rita and Jonna. Earlene preceded him in death as did his mother and father.  He lived alone at his home at Ft. Supply after Earlene’s passing in 2003.

Surviving him are his children, Gary Cleveland, of Woodward, Richard Cleveland and his wife Dee of Mutual, Rita Poindexter and her husband Dan, of Owasso, and Jonna Burks, of Oklahoma City.  He leaves grandchildren Russell Poindexter, Tiffany Schuermann, Michael Cleveland, Monica Tate, Magan Cleveland, Tracey Slaby, Lindsay Aguirre, Wade Phillips, John Phillips, and Bradley Foley.  He had 28 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.  Additionally, he is survived by his sister, Maudie Bradbury, of Norman, and many cousins and friends.

Memorials may be sent to the Amarillo VA Hospital

Graveside services were held Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in the Gage Memorial Cemetery, Gage, Oklahoma.  Services arranged by Shaw Funeral Home, Shattuck, Oklahoma.  Condolences may be made to the family at


Trending Video