Mr. Cleveland was born in Sanford on July 9, 1924, and was considered by many as a true Southern gentleman whose laugh and personality were recognized by many around the state. He endeared himself to many and enriched the community he loved.
He graduated from Seminole High School in l942 and attended the University of Florida before joining the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was commissioned in the Air Force Reserves during the Korean War.
He earned a BS and BA from Stetson in l949, and a JD from Stetson College of Law 1951. He was a member of the ATO fraternity, and a member of The Florida Bar for 56 years before retiring in 2007.
His past activities include Seminole County Bar Association president, president of the Stetson’s Lawyer Association, county attorney, member of the 18th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee, state Senate 1963-1966, House of Representatives l952-63, speaker pro-tem 1956-58. He also made many contributions to higher education.
He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in l968, he was trustee emeritus and general counsel emeritus of Stetson University; Board of Overseers Stetson College of Law, various Florida commissions, and former board of directors for various banks. He was a founding member of the Volie A. Williams Inns of Court.
Other memberships included the Sanford Bahia Shrine Club, 60-year member of the Masonic Order, Sanford Scottish York Rite Bodies, Elks Club, and American Legion Post 53. He was active in many other civic and professional organizations and received many civic and professional awards.
Mr. Cleveland was an avid golfer with former memberships at Mayfair and Rolling Hills and was on Heathrow’s founding board of governors. He was a 50-year member of the First Baptist Church of Sanford and a current member of the Longwood Hills Congregational Church.
He was predeceased by his mother, Lois Shiflet Cleveland, and his father, Mack N. Cleveland, Sr.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Mary Anne, and three stepchildren: Darvin Boothe Jr. and wife Chantelle of Tampa, Rebekah Boothe Corley and her husband Cliff of Sanford, Robert Boothe and his wife Mary of Orlando, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Cleveland McCoy and husband Mike of DeBary, brother-in-law Lovett E. Williams, Cedar Key, and Thomas Williams and his wife Joyce of Tallahassee, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
The family said many people had been kind and caring during Mr. Cleveland’s long illness, especially his caregivers Daniel and Vanessa Gomez of Deltona.
Visitation for friends will be Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Longwood Hills Congregational Church, 1255 E.E. Williamson Road, Longwood. A Celebration of Life service will be conducted Saturday at 11 a.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to any of the following would be appreciated: Longwood Hills Congregational Church, 1255 E.E. Williamson Road, Longwood, FL 32750; to Stetson University Office of Development, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8286, DeLand, FL 32723, to Halifax Health Hospice or to a Parkinson’s foundation.