Jason Mc Cleary

December 24, 1919 ‒ March 10, 2002

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Jason “Jake” McCleary, 82, the last of the seven children of Harry and Cora (Riffle) McCleary of Barnesville, Ohio, passed away early Sunday morning, March 10. His brother Don was shot down over Belgium in World War II, and in addition to his parents, “Buck,” “Sis,” Marguerite, Rosemary, and Bonnie preceded him in death.

He met his wife of 62 years, Evelyn Carpenter, at a square dance in Woodsfield where he played the banjo when they were both teenagers. Jake played the fiddle, banjo, and mandolin, but he especially loved his guitar. Jake can be remembered playing his guitar and singing with his children and Evelyn’s eight brothers and sisters and their children.

Jake was a coal miner and moved to Mt. Vernon when he was 19. His first job was as a pressman at Continental Can, formerly Shellmar. Jake was one of the first workers to experiment with a new material, polyethylene, thus beginning a life-long love of the packaging and film business. He moved to Newark in the mid-fifties as the plant manager of Continental Can and relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a district sales manager for Chase Bag Co. for over thirty years.

When strokes robbed him of many things he loved—his job, the guitar, golf, cooking, hunting and fishing—he could still proudly recall in vivid detail each stop made by his ship, the USS Lacerta, in the Pacific in World War II where he was a radar man.

A near-scratch golfer, he had a hole-in-one on his favorite golf course. Golfing replaced bowling, where he recorded a 279/702 series. He loved to hunt, fish, and play cards with his brothers in law. Books and reading were life-long passions, and World War II and current events were his favorite topics.

He began grilling turkeys and steaks on his Weber grill 40 years ago before barbecuing became a national pastime. Jake loved to cook and he maintained his love for food throughout his life. A pot of soup beans, shrimp cocktail, or a cantaloupe would make his eyes light up.

A product of the depression and World War II, Jake was a valiant fighter all of his life. The last eight years were difficult, but whenever asked how he felt, Jake would always smile, cock his head to the side, and say, “Compared to what?”

Jake is affectionately remembered by his wife Evelyn; daughters and sons-in-law, Joanne and Rod Kiefus, San Mateo, California; Jean and Tim Weisert; Buckeye Lake, Ohio; Janet Sheldon; Overland Park, Kansas; and Joyce Shaffar, St. Louis, Missouri; 14 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren, and many other family members and friends.

Friends may call from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home, 201 Newark Rd. in Mt. Vernon 43050 on Wednesday, March 13 where the funeral will be at 2 p.m.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Food Pantry Network, 823 Steel Ave., Newark 43055.