Monday, January 12, 2009

Jerry L. McCleary

Jerry L. McCleary 1935 ~ 2009 Jerry L. McCleary passed away peacefully on January 9, 2009, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. His family and loved ones were by his side. He was born in Murray, Utah on September 28, 1935 to William F. and Delsa C. McCleary. He was raised in Midvale, Utah and graduated from Jordan High School in 1953. While at Jordan he was an All-State basketball player, captain of the 1953 state championship team and named the state's most valuable player. Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Shirla Ann Jones, of South Jordan, UT in 1954 in the Salt Lake Temple. He attended the University of Utah from 1953 to 1957 on a basketball scholarship. "Jumpin' Jerry" was a starter on the varsity team for three years. Forever a "Utah Man," just as sure as the "U" would blink on the mountain following a Utah victory, so would Jerry wear his red blazer to church the following Sunday. After his collegiate career, Jerry continued playing basketball for many years in the county recreation program achieving much success and recognition. Jerry had a 32 year career in public education as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Jordan School District. He coached his Jordan High basketball teams to a state title and 4th place finish in 1963 and 1968, respectively. As an administrator, he worked as principal of Jordan High School and in 1981 was named Principal to open the new West Jordan High School. Upon retirement, the school honored its first principal by naming the football field, "McCleary Field." Jerry was a faithful member of the LDS church, serving in various callings including Bishop's Counselor, Stake High Council member, Bishop and Temple Sealer. He served as the Mission President of the Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission from 1993 to 1996 and opened and presided over the Johannesburg, South Africa MTC from 2003 to 2004. Besides family and basketball, Jerry's other passions were slow-pitch softball and golf. He was named to the Utah Slow-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame after obtaining numerous awards while playing many years for Priced Rite Trophies. After his softball playing days, golf became his favorite pastime and his clubs accompanied him everywhere he went. He loved to play new golf courses wherever he traveled. Jerry's life was centered around teaching, helping and working with the youth. He spent many hours as a teacher, coach and administrator loving, helping and supporting the students. As a mission president, he dearly loved and cared for his missionaries in the Florida, Fort Lauderdale mission. His love for the Elders and Sisters who entered the South Africa MTC touched hearts of many who had never felt such love before. He loved the youth when he served in the Branch Presidency of the singles ward and as a Bishop of the University of Utah Married Students Ward where he was known as "Grandpa Bishop." He is survived by his wife, Shirla; children, Larry (Cheryl), Ann Clover (Jim), Brian (Sandi), Robert (Trina) and Tara Marshall (Rob); brother, Kent (Sharla), two sisters-in-law, Arlene McCleary and Jane Sumner; 26 grand children and 11 great-grand children. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Bill and Donald (Kay). The family would like to express gratitude to the IHC Hospice nurses and the staff at Garden Terrace for their tender and loving care during the last weeks of his life. Funeral services will be Wednesday January 14, 2009 at 11a.m. in the Butler Stake Center located at 7035 Nutree Drive (3255 East). A viewing will be held Tuesday, January 13, 2009 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Goff Mortuary, located at 8090 S. State St, Midvale, and also just prior to the funeral services at the Butler LDS Stake Center on Wednesday from 9a.m. to 10:30am. Interment, South Jordan City Cemetery.

Taken from the Salt Lake Tibune