James David Clevenger, Sr., age 84, passed away Monday June 6th, 2022 at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital surrounded by family.
Jim was born on October 26th, 1937 on the family farm near Albany, to Sylvester Clark and Cora J. (Wood) Clevenger. He graduated from Albany High School in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Wanda L. Bayman, on June 29th, 1958; they were married 59 years until her death. For years the couple owned and operated: Jim Clevenger Digging and Landscaping, J&W Storage, and other business & rental properties. Jim also farmed and raised cattle.
No one ever cared more for his family, friends, or community than Jim Clevenger. A success in his marriage, family, farm, and businesses, Jim found time not only to volunteer, but to lead and organize multiple organizations. Mr. Clevenger served as PTO President for the local elementary school, and later as a member of the school board. He served as Little League Commissioner, Planning Commission member, and Town Board member.
As a member of the Albany United Methodist Church, Jim served as Trustee, and with his wife, Wanda, ran the local food pantry for several years. As local Boy Scout Master, he attended spring, summer, fall, and winter camps every year, mentored hundreds of boys – including 15 Eagle Scouts, and took his beloved Troop #66 to the National Jamboree in 1973, traveled to the Philmont Scout ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico (twice), as well as taking the troop to Michigan and Florida.
In 1975 Jim was one of the founding members of Albany EMS, and attended the 1st class ever offered for EMTs in Delaware County. He served Albany EMS for 30 years as EMT, Director, and later as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2000 he became a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator, serving as Deputy Coroner under his son, Delaware County Coroner Jim Clevenger, Jr. for 10 years.
Jim was awarded the Golden Eagle Award by the Boy Scouts of America, was named Citizen of The Year by the Oddfellows Lodge of Albany and the Elks Lodge of Dunkirk. He was awarded the Lion Award by the Albany Lions Club, and Wildcat Award by the Town of Albany, both for community service. He was named Volunteer of The Year by the Albany EMS, EMT of The Year by the Muncie Jaycees, and was named “A Distinguished Hoosier” by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Mr. Clevenger was a builder of both young men and his community. While Little League Commissioner he helped install lights, fencing, and restrooms. As an EMS volunteer he helped build the new EMS building, while on the Town Board he helped oversee the building of the new Street Dept. garage, and as a school board member helped oversee the building of Delta Middle School. As a church trustee he, along with brothers-in-law Kenny Bullock and Gene Gleason, spear-headed the construction of the church’s youth building/gymnasium, which was built on the home site of their in-laws (Pete & Lillian Bayman).
Through all of his accomplishments, Jim never missed a sporting event that involved his children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. As an athlete himself, Mr. Clevenger still held two school records in track & field when Albany High School closed in 1974 (for long jump and the half mile run, both set in 1955).
He was an avid fan of the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Colts, and the Cincinnati Reds, and loved to travel. With his wife and family members he visited all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. In Ireland he hung upside down in the rain to kiss the stone at Blarney Castle.
Truly the mold was broken when he was born. He made his way in the world by the sweat of his brow, and gave of himself to make his world a better place.
Jim leaves behind to cherish his memory, three sons: James D. Jr. (Laura), Albany, Timothy L. (Dianna), Noblesville, and Joseph Brent (Emery), Columbus, IN; daughter: Teena L. DiBiasio (Gino), Albany; five grandchildren: Tisha M. Walker (Dusty), Redkey, JoBeth D. Clevenger, Beech Grove, Austin Clevenger, Noblesville, Katarina L. DiBiasio (fiancé: Kyle Zabarsky), Ft. Wayne, and Samantha L. DiBiasio, Albany; two great-grandchildren: Logan and Laura Walker, and sister: Ruthanna Lehman.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Wanda L. (Bayman) Clevenger; parents: Sylvester & Cora Clevenger; brothers: Sanford “Bud” Clevenger and Kenneth Clevenger, Sr., as well as his in-laws: Pete & Lillian Bayman.
Services will be 10 a.m. Friday, June 10, 2022 at Albany United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory Cemetery.
Visiting hours are Thursday from 5 until 8 p.m. at Meacham Funeral Service and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.
Memorials may be sent to Albany United Methodist Church for the Youth Center fund, P.O. Box 277, Albany, IN 47320.
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