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Donald "Don" Cleveland

December 9, 2023

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Donald Cleveland
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Obituary for Donald "Don" Cleveland

In Loving Remembrance
Donald "Don" Cleveland
December 9, 2023

Donald (Don) Cleveland, 75 of Mexico, NY.

Well, we all lost the pool on December 9, 2023. We bet good money he’d outlive us all and now we have to eat Ramen all month. Actually, we’re going to start digging around the yard for the money he buried out there in Folgers cans.

He did outlive his parents Herbert and Doris Cleveland and his brother Kenny who he no doubt is with in heaven now. He’ll spend eternity anxiously watching us spend money willy nilly, out on the roads in weather with winds exceeding more than a mile per hour, driving in conditions that produce more than a single snowflake or God forbid going out in “the middle of the night.” Which by the way, he considered any time after 4pm.

He left behind a brother, Tom. Also left behind was his wife of 50 years, Bonnie, who will spend the next weeks swearing and muttering obscenities while cleaning up piles of snacks he wasn’t allowed to eat and dumping ashtrays full of cigarettes he smoked with a childlike defiance. His children Shelly, Jennifer, Cari, Staci, Donald Jr and Nathan will still tell the same old stories he told always starting with “Stop me if you’ve heard this,” which they always had. Grandchildren Michael, Mason, Ashley, Miranda, Haley, Braden, Justice, Liberty, Gunner, Teagan, and Aubri were among his most treasured possessions. He wondered aloud more than once how his grandchildren were so smart while remarking how his own kids were tv watching droolers. He adored the great grand babies Michael III, Isabelle, Makinlee, Ellie, and Naveah assigning them each a nickname fitting their personality or due to the fact he couldn’t keep anyone’s name straight anymore.

He worked a lifetime of jobs, first at Alcan, then at Crouse Hinds, he was also a firewood cutter, pole barn builder, when need be, an apartment painter and cleaner, defied physics as a brakeless dump truck driver, a sometimes bus mechanic, always had a side hustle or two like apple picking. He spent more than 20 years as a school bus driver for the Mexico School District before deciding to either pull a Thelma and Louise and drive off a cliff in that big yellow bus or retire. After much consideration he decided on retirement.

Beyond work, he spent years coaching girls’ community softball with mixed victories that never failed in a trip for ice cream, win or lose. After retirement he spent his time flipping back and forth from Ridiculousness, to The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon. He was an obsessed fan of Yellowstone and spent many hours discussing Rip and what else made the show great. His eclectic taste in music spanned from the “oldies” to Eminem. He loved talking to anyone who’d listen and eating anything that was bad for him. The only thing he loved more than his big loud family was big loud family get-togethers where he grilled up his “tangy chicken” and could be seen throwing back a cup of butter. He was happy living his best life. He was an avid reader. He was wise. He was kind to everyone and anyone, and generous with his time and resources. He was smart and never shy to let you know he was always right. Most of all, he was a man. He was a great, big man.

Since he loved to be the center of attention there will be a celebration of life for him instead of services. It’ll be this spring, date TBD. Arrangements are in care of Harter Funeral Home, Inc. Mexico, NY.

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