Ronald E. McCleery, 74, passed away at 5:09 p.m. March 9, 2012, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne Ind.
Ron was born April 17, 1937, at the Gibbons Hospital in Celina, to the late Florence L. (Ireland) and Clifford E. McCleery.
On Sept. 6, 1958, he married Joy (Crouch) in Mariemont, Ohio. She survives in Van Wert, Ohio.
He was a graduate of Van Del High School and the Ohio State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in rural sociology and ag economics, and was affiliated with Alpha Zeta fraternity. He was also in R.O.T.C. and entered the United States Air Force upon graduation. He served at several bases including Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, Ga., RAF Mildenhall in England, and at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam, and taught aerospace studies at Purdue.
In 1976, Ron returned to Van Wert to help his dad on the farm. Besides farming, he was also a salesman for S. I. Distributing out of St. Marys, Ohio. This necessitated much traveling but he liked meeting the people at the many farm shows and delighted in eating at all the great restaurants he found on his travels.
He enjoyed playing golf and spending time with his family at his home on Hamilton Lake.
He was a member of the Bethel United Methodist Church, the Van Wert Masonic Lodge, the Van Wert American Legion, and a member of First Families of Van Wert County.
Also surviving are his children: Kelly (Joe) Ginter of St. Marys, Kristin Hamel (fiancé Christopher Patton) of Van Wert, Scott (Jane) McCleery of Ft. Wayne, Mark (Michele) McCleery of Van Wert; grandchildren: Joshua (Mae) Vandemark, Jessica Shaw, Conner and Hannah McCleery, Austin Hamel, Kyle and Luke McCleery, Quinn Ginter, Amanda and Bobby Kalafut, Kristen (Matt) Christopher; great-grandchildren: Dalton Vandemark, Cadence and Addison Christopher; sisters: Joyce R. Hirn and Sharon L. (Jim) McConnell, and a nephew: Colby L. Hirn.
Preceding him in death was a brother-in-law: Dennis L. Hirn.
Friends may call from 4 - 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert. Private graveside services will be held at a later date at Ridge Cemetery, rural Van Wert County, with the Rev. Greg Wack officiating.
Preferred memorials are to the Van Wert County 4-H (which played an important part in his youth) or Bethel United Methodist Church or the donor's choice.