Phillip Francis Van Cleave, 92, of East Falmouth, passed away peacefully at Cape Regency Nursing Home on January 28, 2020. He was the husband of the late Marguerite (Peters) Van Cleave and son of the late Sammie P. and Mildred (Ingram) Van Cleave.
Born in Montezuma, Iowa. He started working at a very early age in his father's barber shop during the Depression. He was a star athlete at Montezuma High, excelling in football and basketball. He joined the Navy during his senior year at Montezuma High School in 1945 and served in until 1953. Some of his favorite memories as he grew older were of this time in his life.
He met the love of his life, Marguerite, at a dance, when he was stationed in Boston. They moved back to Montezuma in 1953. Raising their family in Montezuma, Ottumwa and Washington, Iowa. They moved to East Falmouth, MA 1972. They were married for 66 years.
He was very proud of his work ethic and worked at a variety of jobs over his work career. He retired as an Electrician/Maintenance person from Otis Air Force Base.
He loved to watch sports, especially the New England Patriots. He enjoyed playing golf, bowling and learned to downhill ski at age 58.
In retirement he was an avid wood worker. He made engraved signs for doctors and dentists. In his last few years he would make wooden carvings of Cape Cod, cutting out the intricate shape of the Cape, giving them away to friends and family.
He was most proud of his family, his work ethic, being from Iowa, and serving in the Navy. He will be missed.
Phillip is survived by his children Phillip (Mary Jane) Van Cleave, Fenton, Missouri; Nancy (Gary Seeley) Van Cleave, Cayuta, NY; Michael Van Cleave, East Falmouth, MA; grandchildren Catherine (Jeff) Peveler, Eileen Van Cleave, Veronica Van Cleave-Seeley, Scott Seeley, great grandchildren Samantha and Daniel Peveler, Erica and Emily Seeley, and his nephew Gary Van Cleave, Baird, Texas. He was predeceased by his brother Sammie Burton Van Cleave.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at Christ the King Church 3 Job’s Fishing Rd. Mashpee on Friday February 7, 2020 at 11:00am. Burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne at 12:45pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask you donate to my.smiletrain.org (for cleft lip and palate children) or your favorite charity in his name.