Gary Lee Cleveland passed away after a long illness on December 28, 2019, at his home in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. His close friend, guardian and caregiver, Sonya Lynch, was with him. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, David Cleveland of Warner Robins, Georgia.
Gary was born to Willodean (Treadwell) and Kenneth LeeRoy Cleveland on January 28, 1946, in Marysville, California, he also resided in Texas and Florida.
He graduated from Marysville High School in 1965 and joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after. He had a distinguished career, serving from February 1965 during the Vietnam War until he retired in February 1994
After he retired from the Air Force, he attended Austin Community College where he earned an AA Degree. He later attended University of West Florida where he earned his BS Degree with honors in 2002. Then he earned his MA Degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities in 2004, also with honors. He was a proud member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Gary loved to travel, seeing many countries during his time in the service, as well as after his retirement. One of his favorite trips was when he traveled to Europe with his parents.
Riding his Harley Davidson was one of his favorite pastimes, and he often rode with a veterans group in funeral processions. Gary was known for his mischievous personality and his grin; he will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Gary is survived by a brother, Steven Cleveland of Carrollton, Texas; several cousins: Linda Draper (Kirk) of Oroville, California; Glenn H. McFadden of Fallon, Nevada; Kenneth McFadden of Marysville, California; Annamay Batty, Candace Rossi and Fern Goodman of Sacramento, California and Cecily Cleveland of Eugene, Oregon; also survived by his aunt, Ivadell (Cleveland) Schmaus of Sacramento, several nieces and nephews, and his life-long friend, Fred Till, of Marysville, California.
His close friend, Sonya Lynch, his Advocate and Guardian lovingly cared for him the last six years of his life, along with her two sons, Brady and Brandon Lynch, who were as close as any grandchildren, and Sonya’s granddaughter, Lorelei Lynch.
His funeral service will be held January 28, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida with full Military Honors provided by the Honor Guard from Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Afterward, there will be a coffee and cake social at the Moose Lodge in Fort.Walton Beach.
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