FARMER CITY — Richard Lee Cleaver, 72, of Farmer City, went to be with the Lord at 6:05 a.m. Wednesday (Feb. 1, 2017) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.
Richard was born Jan. 20, 1945, in Springfield, the son of Aubra E. Cleaver and first wife, Lula Mae McCubbin Cleaver Ryder. He married Jeanne A. Bollman on June 9, 1973, in Peoria.
Richard was a graduate of Bloomington High School, Class of ’63, and worked at Caterpillar Inc. in East Peoria for 35 years, retiring as a manufacturing engineer on April 30, 1999. He and his wife Jeanne moved to Stoutsville, Mo., where they started a construction business called RLC Deck Builders. In November 2001, they moved to Farmer City and Richard went to work for M & W Gear (now Alamo Group). He started as a CNC programmer and quickly worked his way up to manufacturing engineering manager. After leaving there, he and his wife developed and started a restaurant called The Whistle Stop Café in Weldon. It was sold and became Mama D’s Smokehouse.
He was a member of Tri-Valley Baptist Church in Downs and was past treasurer. He was also a member of Joe Williams American Legion Post 55, Farmer City, and served on the firing squad of the Honor Guard. Richard served in the Illinois Army National Guard for six years and in the Illinois Air National Guard for three years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Josephine Cleaver and Betty Hughes, both of Springfield, and Mary Lou Gleason; three brothers, William Cleaver, Frank Cleaver and John L. Cleaver of Champaign. Richard was the youngest of nine children; still living are Joseph T. Cleaver and Virginia M. Dixon of Bloomington. He also has six half brothers and one half sister living in the Pekin area.
Richard is survived by his wife, Jeanne A. Cleaver, Farmer City; their children, Jennifer (James) Brown, Illiopolis; Chad Cleaver, Mackinaw; and Jesse (Keri) Cleaver, Peoria. He had five grandchildren, Sam and Mitchell Cleaver, Jora Cleaver, Fisher Cleaver and Briana Brown. Richard also had three grandchildren by a son from a previous marriage. They are son, Richard L. (Patti); grandson, Richard G.; and granddaughters, Jennifer and Summer Matheson, of Farmer City.
Family and friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, 106 N. Main St., Farmer City.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, with Pastor Ron Woodrum officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to Tri-Valley Baptist Church Memorial Fund.
Interment service will follow the service at the funeral home at Camp Ground Cemetery, southwest of Farmer City on Route 54. Joe Williams American Legion Post 55 will perform military honors.
A meal will follow the burial at Tri-Valley Baptist Church in Downs; address is Tri-Valley Baptist Church, 8385 North 1900 East Road, Bloomington, IL 61704.