Cover photo for Joy A. McCleery's Obituary
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1936 Joy 2024

Joy A. McCleery

April 14, 1936 — April 23, 2024

Van Wert, Ohio

Joy Ann Crouch McCleery, 88, of Van Wert, died at 6:22am, April 23, 2024.

She was born April 14, 1936 in Cincinnati, the only child of the late Roy and Rose (Crump) Crouch. She married Ronald E. McCleery on September 6, 1958. He preceded her in death on March 9, 2012.

Joy grew up in Mariemont, just east of Cincinnati, where she attended the local schools and played tennis every available minute except for Saturdays when she helped in her father's grocery store so that she could receive her allowance. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1958 in business administration and was president of her college sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, her senior year.

Her husband's Air Force career gave her the opportunity to live in many different locations over the years, including England, where two of her children were born. She came to Van Wert in 1977 and worked at the Van Wert Alcoholism Center for several years before retiring and becoming involved in genealogy. She was the Membership Chairman and wrote the newsletter for the Van Wert County Genealogical Society for many years. She was also a trustee of the Van Wert County Historical Society and wrote the "Historical Happenings" newsletter for ten years and then started writing a "Historical Happenings" newspaper column for the Times-Bulletin which she thoroughly enjoyed. She believed that "history was like the nail on which the picture hangs." She was a member of TWIG II and a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in rural Van Wert where she served on several committees and enjoyed helping in the kitchen for special meals as well as for the late great strawberry festival. She also volunteered with Bread & Bowl and the Food Pantry. After Bethel Church closed, she became a member of First United Methodist Church.

She thoroughly enjoyed watching her children's games and delighted in all their accomplishments, both academic and athletic, just as she did her grandchildren's! She was a Lincolnview fan; a Cincinnati Reds fan (she remembered her father closing his grocery store, hopping in the car with him and her mother, picking up a bag of White Castle hamburgers and going to Crosley Field to watch Red's baseball games!); a Bengals fan; and, of course, an Ohio State football faithful of the first rank (member of Block O!) Going to the Rose Bowl game her freshman year at Ohio State was a treasured memory, one of many!

Her family included: daughters - Kelly (Joe) Ginter and Kristin McCleery (Greg Jones) all of Van Wert; sons - Scott (Jane) McCleery of Ft. Wayne and Mark (Michele) McCleery of Michigan; Grandchildren - Quinn Ginter, Joshua (Mae) Vandemark, Jessica Shaw, Austin (Jessica) Hamel, Kyle and Luke McCleery, Conner McCleery, Hannah (Nolan) McCleery Silberhorn, Kristen (Mike) Morgan, Amanda(Chase Gutierrez) Kalafut, and Bob (Samantha) Kalafut Jr.; and great-grandchildren - Dalton & Chase Vandemark, Cadence & Addison Christopher, Mikey Morgan, Isabelle & Alaina Kalafut; a sister-in-law, Sharon (Jim) McConnell of Wellington, a nephew, Colby Hirn of Columbus, and her treasured sweet dog, Harper (she wasn't really sure just who rescued who!).

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Florence & Cliff McCleery, her sister-in-law & brother-in-law, Joyce and Dennis Hirn.

As she wished, there will be no visitation. Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements. If you care to make a memorial, a suggestion would be to the Van Wert County Humane Society or First United Methodist Church. She also would hope that you will share your smile with someone who doesn't have one, say hello to brighten someone's day, and pay it forward when you can.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy A. McCleery, please visit our flower store.

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