GEORGE DEAN CLEVELAND, SR. of Brazoria, Texas passed into the arms of Jesus on Saturday, May 29th, 2021 in Lake Jackson, Texas. He was 91 years old. George is the son of George Edward Cleveland and Jessie Eleanor Cleveland formally of Freeport, Texas.
George proudly attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He became a civil, structural and mechanical engineer. He married his sweetheart, Betty Guidry in 1950. Then in 1954, George and Betty, with 2 toddlers and another baby on the way, moved to their new home in Brazoria that George had built himself for his growing family.
It wasn’t long before George began serving in his community. Over the years, he held numerous positions within the city. He served as President of the Brazoria Little League, and served on the Brazoria City Council. He also helped formed the Beautification Committee, and served as its president for two terms. He was a member of the Brazoria Fire Department, and was the founder of the Brazoria Chamber of Commerce. George also served the chamber as president for two terms. In 1984, George was named Brazoria Man of the Year. And for many years, George served as an Appraisal Review Board Member for Brazoria County.
Along with his achievements and service to his community, he worked for Dow Chemical. He hired on as a carpenter, but quickly moved into other job roles. His extensive knowledge and understanding of carpentry, and how things worked, led him to become a detailed and precise engineer and draftsman. He once recalled that one of his first engineer assignments was to design a specialize tank truck to transport chemicals. At the end of his story he proudly added, “and it actually worked too!”
George retired from Dow Chemical after 23 years to start a building company with his sons. He established Cleveland Building Company, and dedicated it to the Lord. CBC built hundreds of custom homes throughout Brazoria County.
Shortly after George’s retirement as a builder, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis. This diagnosis did not slow him down. He lived with the side effects of this disease for 25 years, and even continued to work as an inspector well into his eighties.
He was so proud of all his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. He thoroughly enjoyed big family gatherings. George had grown up as an only child, and he always wanted to have a big family. He and Betty hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals until they were in their mid-eighties. They also would have a big family gathering for the fourth of July. George made it known that you can’t celebration the 4th of July without serving hot dogs, hamburgers and apple pie.
George was a gifted guitarist and musician. He could play effortlessly by ear. He was a member of several different bands throughout the years. George loved playing his guitar at church, and at the nursing homes. He built and repaired guitars too. George passed down his musical talent to his grandson, Aaron, by teaching him how to play the guitar.
As a member of the First Baptist Church in Brazoria, George served many years as an adult Sunday School teacher. He also played a large role in organizing and establishing the Brazoria Missionary Baptist Church.
George is preceded in death by his parents, George and Jessie Cleveland and Mother and Father-n-law Luke & Annabelle Guidry.
George is survived by his wife of 70 years, Betty Cleveland of Brazoria. George and Betty have four sons, Guy Cleveland & wife Tammie of Brazoria, Dennis Cleveland & wife Nancy of West Columbia, George Cleveland, Jr., & wife Teri of Brazoria, David Spencer Cleveland of Richwood, and one daughter, Betty Bailey & husband Mike, of Brazoria. Grandchildren are: Shelley Fogle & husband Rusty of Sweeny, Bryan Cleveland & wife Mikki of West Columbia, Robby Cleveland & wife Silvia of Lake Jackson, Rhyon Larsen & wife Sara of Brazoria, Melissa Bowen & husband Zac of Lake Jackson, Lori Vann & husband Chris of Mauriceville, Texas, Rachel Penland of Brazoria, Amanda Cleveland of Brazoria, Dean Cleveland & fiancé Emma of Jones Creek, and Aaron Bailey of Brazoria; great-grandchildren: Gavin Bowen, Rogan & Lilly Cleveland, Ruby & Gabe Cleveland, Kaden & Kolten Fogle, Paisley Cleveland, Regan & Rhiley Larsen, Maddison Penland and Chelsea & Caleb Vann.
Serving as pallbearers are George’s grandsons: Aaron Bailey, Zac Bowen, Bryan Cleveland, Robby Cleveland, Rusty Fogle, Kaden Fogle, Rhyon Larsen, & Chris Vann. Honorary pallbearers are: Matt Sebesta and Bobby Zumwalt.
The family will welcome friends and loved ones from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 3, 2021 at C.T. Baker & Sons Funeral Home in West Columbia, Texas.
Funeral Services will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 4, 2021 at the First Baptist Church of Brazoria. Interment will follow in Brazoria Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pregnancy Help Center in Lake Jackson or Women’s Center of Brazoria County in Angleton.