James Clinton Cleveland, 89 passed away peacefully Friday, October 1, 2021 at Heritage Court Memory Care in Eau Claire, Wis. He was born on July 10, 1932 in Badger, Iowa to Canute and Josephine (Larson) Cleveland of Badger, Iowa. He formerly attended The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd as a Charter Member and First Lutheran Church in Torrance, Calif. before he moved to Eau Claire in August 2020. He also attended Central Lutheran Church when he was enjoying his summer home in Mondovi, Wis. for many years. James graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1951 earning the nickname "Lefty" as their Dodgers southpaw starting pitcher and also sang in the A Capella Choir. Right out of high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy. After six months of training in Sonar, he was assigned to the Naval Destroyer USS De Haven DD-727 serving in the Korean War. He loved to share stories from his time in the Navy with a twinkle in his eye. After his honorable discharge in 1955, he married Evelyn M. Johnson June 10, 1956 at Evanger Lutheran Church in rural Independence, Wis. They began their life in California, living in Torrance for over 60 years and celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary this year. James retired from TRW, Inc. in 1994. He enjoyed singing in the church choir, garage sales, visits to Torrance Bakery, Chart House and Sons of Norway Dinners. He enjoyed telling stories and jokes.....especially Sven and Ole jokes. He was so proud of his Norwegian heritage. He is survived by his wife Evelyn of Eau Claire, Wis.; daughters Julie (Calvin) Arnould of Osseo, Wis., Wendy (Brian) Smith of Riverside, Calif., son James (Diana) Cleveland of Yorba Linda, Calif.; six grandchildren, Rachel (Jacob) Pidek, Stephanie (Benaiah) Stanley, Logan and Heather Smith, Trent Baskin, Bryce (Faith) Baskin; seven great-grandchildren, Jarred Thompson, Evelyn, Josephine and Gideon Pidek, Freya Stanley, Rev Baskin, Brinlee Baskin and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Albertis, Richard (Maxine), Robert (Esther), sister, Evelyn (Kenneth) Mandsager and granddaughter Jillian Arnould. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Evanger Lutheran Church, rural Independence, with Rev. Rolf Morck officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery, with military rites conducted by Sura-Wiersgalla American Legion Post 186, Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM at the church A special note of thanks to the staff at Heritage Court Memory Care and to St. Croix Hospice for taking such wonderful care of James. He will be greatly missed, but we are comforted in knowing that he is now in the arms of our Lord and loved ones in heaven.
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