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Welcome to the memorial page for

John H. Cleveland, III

September 4, 1934 ~ June 1, 2017 (age 82)

SACKETS HARBOR – John H. Cleveland, III, age 82, of 12505 Chestnut Ridge Road in Sackets Harbor passed away June 1, 2017 at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown.

Born September 4, 1934 in Rochester, NY, John was the son of the late John H. and Ermina Bond Cleveland. Educated at Watertown City schools, John graduated from Columbia University in New York City and received his Bachelor of Laws in 1963. He was a US Army veteran, serving during the Korean War.

John Cleveland began practice as a maritime lawyer in 1963 with Haight, Gardner, Poor and Havens in New York City. His career took him to Hill, Betz; Bethlehem Steel; and lastly, Curtin Law Firm. Upon retiring from the practice of admiralty law in 1997, John returned to his beloved Butler Homestead on Chestnut Ridge, near Sackets Harbor. With family and those who knew him well, John was a generous host, a world traveller who loved to share stories and share a meal. There was nothing he enjoyed more than gathering around the table to talk about music, travel, and memorable places.

A lawyer by trade, but a musician by love, John had the honor and pleasure of sitting in with many jazz musicians of his time.  Always one to share his zest for music, JC organized the Sackets Harbor Jazz Festival. He was a former board member of North Country Library System and was on the new building committee of Hay Memorial Library. As a past president of the Sackets Harbor Historical Society, John was a keen supporter of Concerts on the Waterfront and historic architectural preservation.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Margaret Harris Cleveland, and their son Thacher Edward Cleveland; his three daughters from his first marriage: Erika Cleveland Marks, Britta Cleveland, and Ingrid Cleveland Gori, as well as grandchildren Alexandra; Rachel and Jonah; and Natalie, Nicholas, and Julia. John is also survived by two sisters, Joan Scott and Martha Leising. His brother, David, predeceased him.

A memorial celebration will be held later this summer at the family home. Gifts and donations may be made in John H. Cleveland’s memory to Hay Memorial Library of Sackets Harbor or the Sackets Harbor Historical Society.


Charitable donations may be made to:

Hay Memorial Library
105 S. Broad St, Sackets Harbor NY 13685



 Service Information

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