James "Zeke" William McCleary

April 14, 1933 ~ April 3, 2022 (age 88)


James William McCleary (“Zeke”) passed away on Sunday April 3rd, 2022 after a brief illness. He was born on 04/14/33 and passed away 11 days before his 89th birthday. The world has lost a great brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. 

Jim was born in Davis City, Iowa and moved to Streator, Illinois as a youth. He was the star of his high school band, earning the nickname “Hot Lips” for his expertise on the trumpet.  Jim served in the Armed Forces during the Korean War. He earned several medals and was promoted to Corporal before being honorably discharged.  Jim worked as a Manager at Owens-Illinois, in Durham, NC and Alton, Illinois. 

He met his future wife and the love of his life, Dorothy Regina Nolan, through her brother, his best friend Francis Nolan.  He and Dorothy were married on 10/22/53 and were married for 62 years until her death in 2015.

Jim loved everything music and was known for his singing voice, the nicknames he gave and the funny tales he told. He was a parishioner of St. Joseph’s and sang in the choir.  He also enjoyed performing with the Goodtimers, a local folk music group. 

Jim is survived by his children, son James (Cynthia) McCleary, and daughters Joan McCleary (Brian Burgess) and Janet-Lynn (Tom) Garrabrant. Jim was grandfather to James in Raleigh, Crystal (David) Watson in Raleigh and Julia (Geoff) Delizzio in Sterling Va. 

He was also blessed with 7 wonderful Great-Grandchildren:  Joshua, Grace, Faith, Jacob, Jeremiah, Joseph and Benjamin.

There will be a private family service at Randolph Memorial Park. Gifts can be sent to Randolph Hospice House, Asheboro, North Carolina. 


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