John “Jack” Gregory McCleary, 62, who worked as an electrical contractor for many years, died July 24, 2013, of acute myeloid leukemia. He had 483 doctor appointments in 2012 and spent 119 days in the hospital.
He was born Feb. 15, 1951, in Billings to the late William G. and Marie M. McCleary. He graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School in l970 and was a member of Central’s State A Championship Football Team in 1968. He attended Western Technical College in Denver, Colo., and returned a year later to continue his studies in Billings.
He married Lynda Kaye Loff on Sept. 30, 1972. They moved to Denver, then back to Billings. On Oct. 11, 1974, he entered a four-year electrical apprenticeship with the International Brothers of Electrical Workers. He worked as an electrical contractor for Action Electric for many years and also at Mountain Electric.
In April 1976, Mr. and Mrs. McCleary moved to Laurel, and he rode his bicycle back and forth to Billings every day. On May 20, 1989, they moved to the Billings Heights, and he rode his bicycle 37 miles every morning before he went to work.
In July 2008, he contracted the beginning of a myriad of illnesses, beginning with his heart. On Jan. 23, 2012, he was diagnosed with leukemia, six weeks after he had a defibrillator/pacemaker implanted.
Despite his illness, he missed only one performance at his wife’s dance studio in 40 years, on June 8, 2013.
He was a longtime Mustang Baseball Booster.
He had received care from the Frontier Cancer Center, St. Vincent Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Houston DeBakey Clinic and the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, among others.
Survivors include a daughter, Kary McCleary Ottinger; three grandchildren; brothers, Bill of Prescott, Ariz., and Michael of Great Falls; and a sister, Pattie McCleary Amestoy of Laurel.
A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Elks Lodge. Arrangements are by Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be made to the McCleary Cancer Fund at US Bank in Billings.