Wilbur Lyle”Red” Cleveland, 89, of Eagle Point, died Feb. 25, 2012.
He was the son of the late Lyle Hazen Cleveland and the late Pearl Irene Sparks. He was born Sept. 18, 1922, in Gooding, Idaho.
He moved to California as a child, where he met Ida Katherine “Ginger” Coatney and her friend, Muriel Virginia “Mini” Calendar. In the months after Dec. 7, 1941, he successfully joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. During leave from training, he married Ginger on Dec. 10, 1943, in San Jose, Calif. From 1944 until the end of World War II he flew 60 missions in the Pacific Theater, mostly in A-20 attack bombers.
He remained in what would become the Air Force, first in the reserves and then on active duty, retiring in 1968 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In the later portion of his military career, he served at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters.
Post retirement, he assisted the U.S. Forest Service in transporting fire fighters and equipment and was a gentleman rancher for the next two decades in Joseph, Ore. He suffered the loss of Ginger only a few years after retiring. He married Mimi on Dec. 13, 1975, in Campbell, Calif. They enjoyed each other’s company until her death in 2007. In his later years, he traveled extensively, enjoyed a variety of activities, including building model airplanes and trains, and never stopped enjoying learning.
He was preceded in death by Ginger and Mimi, daughter Judy Cleveland Lott; stepson, Dr. Ralph Wehinger; sisters, Dorothy Mildred Waters and Lyla Jean “Jeannie” Petersen. He is survived by sons, Dr. Bob (Rayanne) Cleveland, Greensberg, La., Dr. Greg (Tomi Jean) of Florence, S.C., Dr. Lee Cleveland (Connie) of Johnson City,Tenn.; son-in-law, Dr. Rick Lott,of Bossier City, La; stepdaughter, Claudia Jackson, of Eagle Point and four other stepchildren, 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club, P.O. Box 1362, Medford, OR 97501.
Arrangements by Perl Funeral Home.