Billy was born in Fisher, MN, on June 18, 1923, the son of the late Elliot and Ellen (Merrill) McCleary and graduated from Fisher High School. He served his country in World War II as a US Platoon Sergeant under General George S. Patton. Billy saw action in the European Theater (D-Day and Battles of St. Lo, The Bulge and Rhineland). He was awarded a Bronze Star for liberating Americans from a German POW Camp and was honorably discharged in 1945. On May 19, 1946 he was united in marriage to Doris M. Hannah at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Mallory, MN. The family made their home in Bemidji, MN, where Billy worked for Danielson Sheet and Metal. They moved to Bagley, MN, in 1952, where he owned and operated Bagley Heating Company. In 1962, the family moved to East Grand Forks, MN, where Billy was co-owner of C.L. Linfoot and Co. After retirement he worked at UND for 8 years. He loved farming and he loved being with his family. Billy was an active member of Mendenhall Presbyterian Church for 56 years, American Legion in Fisher, MN, for 73 years, and the VFW in East Grand Forks, MN.
Billy is survived by his children, Barbara Callahan of Frisco, TX; Curtis (Vikki) McCleary of Thompson, ND; Pamela Ness of McVille, ND; and Connie (Scott) Love of Fisher, MN; 7 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; sister in law, Arlyne McCleary of East Grand Forks, MN; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, grandson, Anthony Ness, 3 brothers, Courtland, David, and John McCleary and countless brothers in arms.
Memorial Service: 2:00 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018; Mendenhall Presbyterian Church, East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
Inurnment: Nisbet Cemetery, rural East Grand Forks, Minnesota Spring 2018.