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Joseph N. Cleveland
February 14, 1933 - July 2, 2018

Joseph Norman Cleveland 85, of Plymouth died from complications of a heart attack on July 2, 2018. Joseph was born in 1933 to Henry Grover Cleveland and Clara Fawkes Cleveland. He grew up as the youngest of three children in Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he helped in the family grocery store. At the University of Louisville he earned a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Psychology; he also graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Society. While in Louisville he met and married Norma Jean Christ. They moved to Michigan in 1962, where Joe accepted a Statistical Analyst position at Ford Motor Company. For more than thirty-five years Joe worked at Ford and held numerous positions including Economic Analyst, Industrial Relations Analyst, and Editor/Writer for Technical Service Bulletins.

Joe and Norma raised four children and enjoyed thirty-five years of marriage. Unfortunately, Norma passed away from cancer in 1990. He was also predeceased by his brother Henry Cleveland and sister Helen Cleveland. Later he married Wilma Wagner and spent his final twenty-three years with her in Plymouth, Michigan. They enjoyed traveling to Europe, gardening, and taking walks together.

As a loving father and cherished husband, Joe’s amazing wit and storytelling ability will be forever missed. Joe was proud to be a Louisville Cardinal, avid gardener, and bird watcher. He also had a strong interest in World War II history. Joe also earned the rank of life long Boy Scout and worked as YMCA camp counselor.

He leaves behind his wife, Wilma, along with his children: N orvin (Julie), Mary (Andrew), David, Robert (Margot); and two stepchildren: Holly (Jere) and Andrew. His love will be missed by his grandchildren: Oliver, Nicholas, Clara, Andrew, Olivia, and Robert. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Katherine Cleveland and nephews John and Jim Cleveland.

Joe’s family will receive guests at the Vermeulen-Sajewski Funeral Home, 46401 Ann Arbor Rd. W., in Plymouth, MI on Thursday, July 5 from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The funeral will take place on Friday, July 6 at 10:00 a.m. at the Vermeulen-Sajewski Funeral Home with Reverend Melanie Carey officiating, followed by interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, MI.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ( and the Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum.

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