Verne Darrel McCleary was born October 30, 1934, in Spencer, Iowa . Shortly after that his family moved to Minnesota.
Verne graduated from Windom High School in 1952 and started a career in farming. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. He then returned to farming in the Windom area and married Betty Jane Paulson on September 15, 1956. He was forced to retire from farming in 1968 due to a back injury. Following back surgery, he attended the Medical Institute of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
He and Betty then moved to Chisago City, Minnesota where he worked at the Chisago Lakes Hospital as a lab technician for 30 years until retiring in 2000 from Fairview Lakes Hospital in Wyoming. Verne was passionate about his yard and flower gardens and the neighborhood enjoyed his colorful gardens and seasonal displays. He was an avid reader, a talented carver and enjoyed woodworking. He spent many hours building wooden toys for the many kids in his life and wooden ornaments for the annual hospital craft shows. During retirement, he was a loyal Hazelden volunteer for 10 years, giving tours to many groups from all over the world.
He will be greatly missed by his wife Betty; son Mike (Kay); daughter Sara Medin, and grandchildren Daniel Medin and Kyle and Erin McCleary. His sister-in-law Barb (Craig) Solomonson and family were always special in his heart. He was preceded in death by his parents, Darrel and Frieda McCleary and his step-mother, Pearl. Services Tuesday, May 14 at Zion Lutheran Church in Chisago City. Interment at Chisago Memorial Park in Chisago City, Minnesota. Memorials preferred to Zion Lutheran Church. Arrangements by the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Condolences may be left online at www.grandstrandfh.com