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Walter L. “Walt” Cleveland, of Hornell

HORNELL-Walter L. “Walt” Cleveland, 85, of 88 Myrtle Ave., Hornell, died Friday afternoon (August 21, 2020) at Highland Hospital in Rochester, following a long illness.

Born in Deposit, NY on August 25, 1934, he was the son of James & Irene (Caffrey) Cleveland.

Walt grew up in Hornell and was a graduate of Hornell High School (class of 1953). While in high school, he worked at the former Seneca Bowl (AKA Seneca Lanes) as a “Pin Setter” and was paid 10 cents per game. Following high school graduation, he began working at the Erie Railroad, primarily as a fireman.

In 1957, Walt was drafted into the US Army. Before being inducted, however, he married the former Santa Petrelli on June 1, 1957. Together they resided in several locations, including Nuremburg, Germany until Walt’s Honorable Discharge in 1959.

Following his discharge from the military, Walt & Santa returned to the Hornell area and Walt resumed working at the Erie Railroad. Walt continued his employment with the railroad (Erie, Erie Lackawanna & Conrail) until his retirement as an engineer in 1996 following 43 total years of service.

Walt was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and a communicant of St. Ann’s Church. He had been a member of the Hornell Knights of Columbus, G. Carducci Lodge (Sons of Italy), the Hornell American Legion and the Hornell Association.

An avid card player, Walt spent countless hours playing Gin with his buddies at the various clubs at which he belonged. He also loved taking trips to Las Vegas, playing cards and other games of chance at the casinos. Walt enjoyed growing vegetables, especially garlic, and was happy to share it with his family & friends. He also loved making “Dandelion Wine” and, again, sharing with family & friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Santa Cleveland, who died April 8, 2020; 3 brothers, James Cleveland, John Cleveland and Edward Cleveland.

Surviving are 3 sons, Walter (Joyce) Cleveland of Hornell, Mark Cleveland of Cohocton and Daniel Cleveland of Buffalo; 1 daughter, Mary (Fred) Klindt of Cohocton; 5 grandchildren, Jessica Cleveland, Sarah (Kristian) Bourdage, Heath Cleveland, Elizabeth Klindt and Kelsey Klindt; 1 great-grandson, Tristan Bourdage; several nieces & nephews.

The family of Walter L. “Walt” Cleveland will receive friends on Tuesday from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family at St. Mary’s Cemetery with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.

Walt’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 300, Memphis, TN 38148. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.

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