Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Cleveland S. Peeke, Colonel, USAF (Retired)September 10, 1932 – March 17, 2012
PEEKE, Colonel Cleveland S., USAF Retired Age 79, of Wellesley, MA. passed away March 17 surrounded by his wife of 52 years, Sarah, and his two children, Jilian and Dean.
“Cleve” as he was known to his family and friends grew up in Lansing, Michigan and joined the military in 1951. He graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Cleve had a distinguished military career in a variety of critical and high profile positions while serving his country for over 26 years.
When he retired from the Air Force in 1977, Colonel Peeke was the Deputy Commander for Maintenance for the 89th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base. He had full responsibility for ensuring the operational readiness of the Air Force’s entire fleet of executive aircraft including Air Force One used by the President. In addition to managing special air missions for the President, the 89th Special Missions also provided transportation to the highest-ranking civilian and military leaders of the country including the Cabinet, Congress and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the Vietnam conflict, Cleve served as the Chief of Maintenance for the famed “Jolly Green Giant” Air Rescue and Recovery Unit. In this capacity, he ensured that the critical combat search and rescue missions were flawlessly executed. Through his tireless effort, many downed aircrew members were rescued in a variety of hostile environments. In recognition of his effort in a combat environment, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service.
Cleve’s career did not stop after his retirement from the military. He continued through his mid-seventies as a consultant on large government defense and transportation programs.
Cleve loved sports and was very happy about the two recent Red Sox World Series wins. He loved playing golf and leaves behind a valued set of golf friends in Wellesley and Boca Raton, FL. Cleve and Sarah spent winter months in Boca escaping the Boston cold and enjoying their many Florida friends.
Cleve was the proud father of, and is survived by, his two children and their significant others whom he also considered his children: Jilian L. Peeke and John E. Ball, and Dean R. Peeke and Ms. Quyen M. Diep. Cleve is also survived by his Sister Cathy Short, Brother-in-Law Henry Short, Brother-in-Law George Teller, Sisters and Brothers-in-Law Margaret and Thomas Barron, Joy Renjilian and Don Burgy, and Josh and Dan Gough, and numerous nieces and nephews. Cleve was preceded in death by his parents, George and Ione Peeke, and his beloved Sister Barbara Ann Teller.
The family would like to thank Circle of Caring, Hospice of the Good Shepherd, for everyone who helped Cleve stay at home during the final days of his illness. The family would also like to thank the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for helping Cleve demonstrate that a prognosis is just a prognosis and not a reflection of the patient who fights it and the doctors who help with the fight.
A private memorial will be held for direct family. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider charities that directly support Pancreatic Cancer research such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Friends of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, or Lustgarten Foundation.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
March 21, 2012Dear Dean and family. What a shared lifetime of friendship and our shared respect to Clevelands’ passing. Without his intellect;and skills of advanced math studies. I would have failed accreditation from transfer credits from a 2yr-associates degree to a four year Bachelors of Science “95 UMASS boston. undergrad. My thoughts are w/family, as I have lost a friend as well in life, thru hope and courage. Respectfully Tom Gralton~Thomas Gralton, Framingham, Massachusetts
March 21, 2012Dear Dean and Family…I am so sorry for your Loss. He will come back to you all of a sudden in memories as you do day to day things that will let you know he is still with you. My Prayers and thoughts are with you.~Ann Marie Flaherty, Boston, Massachusetts
March 19, 2012Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally, Jil and Deane. Uncle Cleve will always have a very special place in my memory – he was a wonderful man.~Tim Renjilian, Atlanta, Georgia
March 19, 2012Dear Mrs. Peeke, Jil, and Dean;I am so sorry to learn of Cleve’s death. Please know he was lifted up in prayer daily. I will not forget him. He always made me feel very welcomed in your home and he will be missed.~Alfredo Bortolotti, Framingham, Massachusetts
March 19, 2012Dearest Sally, Jil and Dean – we lost a great friend, but we still have all of you. No one can take Cleve’s place in our lives. The wonderful memories we have of our times together, over so many years, are helping us get through this difficult time. We wish were with you. The Sutins~Rowna and Stu Sutin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
March 19, 2012Dear Sally and Family–I’ll miss Cleve so much, and I’m so thankful for the wonderful times we had last year. Those memories will be in my heart forever. My deepest love to all of you.~Arlene Yablin
March 19, 2012Dear Sally, Dean & Quyen, Jilian & John, We are so sorry to hear of Cleve’s passing. He was such a special person, warm and friendly; and he was such a courageous fighter for the illness. We will miss him and his wonderful smile. Please accept our condolences. With deepest sympathy,~Yili & Stephanie Cao, Waltham, Massachusetts
March 18, 2012To Dean and Family, I didn’t know your Dad except through your eyes and your efforts, he must have been a wonderful man. My condolences to you and your family~AmelisfamilyA Koch, Brookline, Massachusetts
March 18, 2012Cleve’s passing leaves a hole in our heart that we cannot describe. He was so much more than our brother-in-law. He was our friend, our mentor, the nucleus of the family, and an inspiration to all of us. We will carry his memory in our hearts forever.~Josh and Dan Gough, Greenville, South Carolina
March 18, 2012My Thoughts Are With You All. Cleve was a pretty special person with a wonderful smile. I always appreciated his Office Visits in Michigan. HUGS BEING SENT TO EVERYONE OF YOU!~Barb Himburg, Manitou Beach, Michigan
March 18, 2012Dear Sally, Jill and Dean and the whole family- I was so saddened to hear of Cleve’s passing. He was a very special person and both my mother and father cared for him deeply, as did I. Please accept my condolences and you all will be in my thoughts and prayers especially during this time. With love.~Kathy McDermott
March 18, 2012Cleve was my friend and, above all else, my golfing buddy for several years. We enjoyed each other’s company. We shared many similar interests. Needless to say, I will never stop missing him. My heart goes out to his large and supportive family, especially Sally, Dean and Jilian. He was so proud of you all. God bless.~Jim Carlson, Wellesley, Massachusetts
March 18, 2012He was my hero always and we are proud to be part of his beloved family.~Hank and Cathy Short, Goodyear, Arizona
March 18, 2012Please accept our condolences on the passing of your father – though we didn’t know him he sound like a great man~Alan Montgomery, Huntsville, Alabama
March 18, 2012Dear Sally, Please accept my sincere condolences. So sorry to hear of Cleve’s death. Sincerely, Myra Kolton~Myra Kolton, Boston, Massachusetts
March 18, 2012Dear Sally, We were so saddened to hear of Cleve’s passing.Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.~Darrilyn & Norman Desser