Donald Cleary served in the United States Army Reserves after serving on active duty from 1972 to 1994, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Donald Cleary has been recognized with several military honors, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Army Reserve Achievement Medal. At the City of Taunton, Donald was a dedicated government employee who began his career as a Social Sciences instructor for the Taunton Public Schools. He rose through a variety of roles, eventually retiring in 2010 as Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent and School Director. His commitment to the community is evident and he has deep feelings for the City of Taunton.
Donald Cleary Obituary
He has been actively involved in many organizations that give back to the community, including Taunton Pop Warner, Old Colony YMCA, Taunton Area School-Career, Kiwanis, Kiwanis Key Club, Elks Lodge #150, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 611 Donald also served in key leadership roles, including serving as the 50th Mayor of the City of Taunton and City Councilman following his retirement from Taunton Public Schools.
On August 27, Donald Cleary, 79, passed away at Morton Hospital with the loving care of hospice nurses and his devoted family by his side. Born on February 24, 1944, in Boston, Massachusetts, Donald is the son of the late Harold J. and Elizabeth (Donovan) Cleary. He proudly graduated from the Class of 1962 and attended Coyle High School and St. Mary while growing up in Taunton. He pursued higher education at Providence College, earning a bachelor’s degree in education. He continued his studies at Northeastern University, earning a Master’s degree in 1974 and CAGS in 1980. In 1967, he married Judy Conway and together they raised four children: Donald Jr., Jeffery, Jessica and Keith.
Surviving him are his children Donald Cleary Jr. in Franklin, Jeffrey Cleary in San Francisco, Jessica Fernandes and her husband Peter in Taunton, and Keith Cleary and his wife Teressa in Mansfield. He is also survived by his wife of 56 years, Judith Cleary. Before the deaths of siblings Elizabeth Ploude and Harold Cleary Jr. His grandchildren Hunter and Samantha Cleary, Janel, Mia, and Covu Fernandes, Mary Kate, and Jack Cleary all fondly remember him as their grandfather.
He is also memorialized by his late brother-in-law John Conway and his wife Julia Conway, sister-in-law Ruthann Cleary, brother-in-law Richard Ploude and his wife MaryAnn, sister-in-law Elizabeth LaBrode and her husband. Myles and brother-in-law Ruthann Cleary. In addition, he left behind nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, and great-grandsons whom he loved dearly. Donald’s call hours will be held at Crapo-Hathaway Funeral Home, 350 Somerset Ave., Taunton, on Thursday, August 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. The Christian Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, September 1 at St. Mary, 14 Saint Mary’s Square, Taunton, later interred at Saint Francis Cemetery on Taunton’s North Walker Street. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to PO Box 193, North Dighton, MA 02764-9998, paying for the Donald Cleary Community College Scholarship.
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