— STUART, Fla. — Lt. Col William "Bill" LeRoy Cleveland Jr., USMC, 84, died peacefully on Friday, May 31, 2013, with his wife of 57 years, Barbara Bassett, at his side in Stuart, Fla.
He was predeceased by his sons, William LeRoy Cleveland III and Timothy Francis Cleveland.
Born in New Rochelle, N.Y., Aug. 18, 1928, son of Edith (Anderson) and Capt. William LeRoy Cleveland, USN, Bill grew up in Miami graduated from St. Patrick's High School, attended the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Miami, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
A man who lived by the principles to serve God, country and his family, Bill was sworn into the Marine Corps by his father. An expert marksman and passionate about flying, he served as a U.S. Marine pilot and was decorated for service in Korea, where he flew his beloved F4U-Corsair as member of the Polka-Dot Squadron. He also served as a carrier pilot on the USN Point Cruz. He was released from active duty in May, 1956, but continued service in the USMC Reserves until his retirement in 1976.
A lifelong resident of South Florida and communicant of Church of the Epiphany in South Miami, and St. Joseph's in Stuart. He was a Boy Scout Leader of Troop 329 for his five sons and member of the Palmetto City American Legion Post 133.
He was the flight consultant to the movie "PT109" and flew the Japanese Zeros for filming of the movie.
Flying for Eastern Airlines for 35 years, he was based at Miami International Airport, and was Instructor, Check Airmen and Program Manager for the A300, DC-10, and L-1011. Prior to that he was an Instructor and Check Airmen on the DC-9 and the 727. After retiring from Eastern he started Airline Training Professionals (ATP) and worked as a contractor for Flight Safety.
Since 1997, Bill has spent his time between Stuart, Fla. and his beloved Adirondack home, "Between the Brambles" on Lake Chateaugay where he was communicant of St. Bernard's in Lyon Mountain, N.Y.; a founding member of the Adirondack Wild Center; and active member of the Chateaugay Lake Association; and Lyon Mountain American Legion Post 1623.
Survived by his wife Barbara Bassett Cleveland; his children, Amanda Cleveland Miller (Mrs. James L.) Christopher (Diane Robertson), Michael John (Dorothy Spirer), Pamela Anne Kober (Mrs. John) and Kevin (Kimberly Becker); his 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his brothers, Jerome, Richard, and Donald.
The family will be receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 7, at Van Orsdel 11220 Kendall Drive, Miami, Fla. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, at Church of the Epiphany, 8235 SW 57 Ave., Miami Fla. Burial to follow with Military Honors at Our Lady of Mercy 11411 NW 25th Street. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to THE WILD CENTER (a 501(c)3 organization) Attn: Tim Holmes, 45 Museum Drive, Tupper Lake, NY 12986 (wildcenter.org).