James Joseph Cleary

June 18, 1938 ~ November 13, 2022 (age 84) 84 Years Old


James Joseph Cleary
June 18, 1938 - Nov. 13, 2022
James Joseph Cleary died Nov. 13, 2022, at the age of 84. Jim was born June 18, 1938, in Portland, to Michael and Wilma Cleary. He grew up in the Holy Redeemer Parish and graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in Business. He went on to have a successful career in the insurance industry. He retired from AON Risk Services as a Sr. Vice President in 2000. Additionally, Jim served in the United States Marine Corps for over 32 years rising to the rank of Colonel. After retiring from the Marine Corps he accepted a position as Chairman of the Employers Support of the Reserve and Guard and held the honorary rank of Major General.
Jim was an outstanding community leader and held leadership positions in many diverse community organizations. However, his greatest roles in life were that of a devoted husband, fun-loving and respected dad, super fun Papa and United States Marine.
Jim was a devoted husband who loved, cherished and honored his wife of 54 years, Cheryl Cleary. Jim and Cheryl were married April 23, 1960 and they had five children. They always enjoyed traveling and spending time at the coast and loved having their family join them. They raised their family in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. Jim and Cheryl were active in the All Saints Parish and their children attended All Saints School.
Jim was a fun-loving and respected dad. As far as dads go, we won the lottery. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't know that we were loved by him. And, there wasn't a day that went by that he didn't know that we loved and respected him. He set high standards for his family and for himself, always reminding everyone that "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."
Jim is the proud grandfather of 14 grandchildren. He enjoyed being a part of their lives in every way possible to include: school, athletics and community events. He instilled in them service to family and community at every opportunity. Breakfast with Papa was a cherished occasion to enjoy one on one time, and receive pearls of wisdom such as: "Life is about 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it."
Jim was very proud of his service to the United States Marine Corps. He held his fellow service members in the highest regard and maintained close friendships with those he served with throughout his life. In his final days he would often utter "Semper Fi Marine, Semper Fi."
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Cheryl Cleary; son, Kenneth Cleary; and is survived by his children, Tom Cleary (Jill), Karen Vu (Luke), Carlene Turpen (Mitch) and Patricia Reeves (John); as well as his grandchildren, Patrick (Lizi) and Sean (Kristina) Cleary, Keara, Dillon, Lucie and Ella Vu, Emilie and Jack Turpen, Jacob, Nathan, Alex and Molly Reeves and Michael and Matthew (Marianna) Cleary. He is also survived by his close friend, Donna Avila; brother, Fr. William Cleary; and sister, Janie Warner.
Jim will be greatly missed by his family and the many people whose lives he touched but will live on in the lessons he taught and the example he set.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at All Saints Catholic Church in N.E. Portland, a reception in the church hall will immediately follow. Graveside burial with full military honors will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Mt. Calvary in S.W. Portland - all are invited to attend.

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