Delbert W. Cleghorn Jr., 92, of Benzonia and most recently, Edwardsburg

Published 11:14 am Thursday, October 11, 2018

Delbert W. Cleghorn Jr., 92, of Benzonia and most recently, Edwardsburg, died Wednesday morning, Sept. 26, 2018, at Cass County Medical Care Facility, Cassopolis, Michigan. He was born Jan. 6, 1926, to Delbert and Dorothy (Walker) Cleghorn in South Bend, Indiana.

On April 4, 1947, married Joan Kehoe in South Bend, Indiana. She preceded him in death on March 6, 2010.

Delbert is survived by sons, Larry (Betty) Cleghorn of Leland, N.Carolina; Donald Cleghorn of N. Augusta, S. Carolina, Mark (Brenda) Cleghorn of Rockvale, Tennessee; as well as daughters, Nancy (Larry) Bowman, of Edwardsburg, Michigan and Gail (John) Rill of Payson, Arizona. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren; as well as Jim Cole, his “adopted” son of Benzonia, Michigan.

He was preceded in death along with his wife, by his parents, Delbert Sr. and Dorothy (Walker), his sister Edith Tillotson, grandson Matthew Cleghorn and great granddaughter Vanesa Ortiz .

Delbert served his country in the Navy during World War II, receiving the Victory Medal, as well as the American and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medals. He was employed by Bendix Corporation in South Bend, Indiana, retiring after 31 years as a superintendent in the Brake & Steering Division. Following his retirement, he and his wife moved from the Edwardsburg area to Benzonia, Michigan; where they were both actively involved in the local community.

He was a devoted husband, lovingly caring for his wife through her struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease and when it was no longer possible, he was with her daily at The Maples nursing home, in Frankfort, Michigan. After her passing he volunteered at The Maples for many years.

Delbert was well known as a wonderful cook and he generously shared his talent by providing delicious treats with family and friends. He has also passed on his recipes and love of cooking with his children, grandchildren and many friends; some of whom are still striving to reach the goal of reproducing his famous peanut brittle. Delbert was an avid gardener, once again sharing his bounty as well as tips for growing produce and many have enjoyed his sauerkraut “parties” and technique for drying corn. He was a skilled wood worker; making rocking chairs, jewelry boxes and custom furniture for many.

He was very proud of his five children and their families. Although his health declined over the summer, he made friends and shared his special humorous sarcasm with many of those who helped care for him.

A funeral service took place Saturday September 29,2018 at the First Congregational Church of Benzonia. The funeral service was officiated by Pastor Thomas Maxwell, his grandson by marriage along with Pastor Patty Higgins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The family is being cared for and served by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.