Deacon Leroy Cleveland Jr. lovingly known as “Jr.” by family, “Deacon Cleveland” by church family or “Roy’ was born February 26, 1939. Preceding him in death was his beautiful wife of over fifty years, Mildred Ann Cleveland, parents Leroy Cleveland Sr., and Sarah Cleveland, two sisters Rachel Cleveland and Verdine Cushions, father and mother-in-law, William and Beulah Johnson, sister-in-law, Etta Joyce Oliver and nephew, Victor Johnson, Jr.
Leroy was born in Rebecca, GA. After graduating from Eureka High School in Ashburn GA: he attended Savannah State University for a couple of years until he joined the Military. Leroy enlisted in the US Army. While stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY serving as a 101st Airborne Paratrooper Screaming Eagles he met and married the love of his life, Mildred Johnson of Guthrie, KY. Leroy accepted Christ at an early age and joined the Greater St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Rebecca, GA. Sometime after his union to Mildred, Leroy joined Guildfield Missionary Baptist Church in Guthrie. Leroy was a long time member and Deacon in good standing until God called him home April 24, 2023.
Leroy was a man with an abundances of skill sets: he was a builder, electrician, car mechanic, plumber, teacher and father figure. Although Leroy retired from Trane company he didn’t retire from his other jobs and the joys of life. In his spare time, he built custom storage sheds, fix cars and did other little odd jobs for people. Most of all, he loved his family whether driving down to Georgia for family reunions, basketball games, birthdays, to fix something or even attending funerals he showed up. From moving his niece from college in New Orleans to Nashville he showed up. Leroy helped raised his nephew from a small boy that followed him everywhere and was always in his shadow. He held study sessions after church services each Sunday to help his niece study to pass the US Airforce exam to ensure a better life for herself and her baby daughter. Four children and a grandson later, that same niece has a great Airforce career as a Tech Sergeant. Leroy was a role model for many young men in and outside of the community teaching them different skill sets. Leroy’s motto to the young men were, “If you learn how to do it yourself, you will never have to pay someone to do it for you.”
Leroy loved the Lord and all his family: he was all things to many different family members but for his youngest sister-in-law, he was a second father to her. From the time he was informed that his mother-in-law was pregnant again, Leroy and Mildred packed up and moved from New Hersey. They had a house built right next door to his father and mother-in-law’s home to assist in the up bringing of the new baby. Mildred was the second mother and disciplinary. Leroy helped with homework when his sister-in-law was of school age, paying $100 for every “A” on her report cards, paying for her wedding, walking her down the aisle on her wedding day and humbly joined with his father-in-law, William D. Johnson to give her hand away in marriage.
Leroy leaves to cherish the memories of him, stepmother Wilda Cleveland, Ashburn GA; sisters Brooksie Ponder, Albany GA, Betty Brown and Sarah Smith, Ashburn GA; sister-in-law/daughter Stephanie (David) Gold of Savannah GA; sister-in-law Wanda (Ronnie) Snorden, Clarksville, TN; brothers-in-law Victor (Jeannette) Johnson, and Frankie Johnson, Guthrie, KY, and a host of nephews, nieces, family and friends.