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September 26, 1930 – February 23, 2024

Roy Alvin Cleveland, 93, of Sisseton, South Dakota passed away on Friday, February 23, 2024 at his residence.

He was born on September 26, 1930 to Floyd and Hazel (Knapp) Cleveland the oldest of ten children. He grew up on the family farm and attended country school.

At age of 18, Roy joined the Army from January 17, 1949 until January 19, 1950 and then joined the reserves.  On October 2, 1950 he was called to active duty and sent to Korea.   He was discharged on August 20, 1951.  After the service he returned home to the farm and later moved to Huron, South Dakota and worked at Armour Meat Packing Plant.

On November 29, 1953, he was united in marriage to Arlene Huff at Buffalo Lake Lutheran Church.  They were blessed with 5 children Gordon, Floyd, Juanita, Marita and Jackie Roy who passed away shortly after birth on December 15, 1961.

Over the years Roy farmed and was a carpenter. He built his own hay stack mover and moved hay for 30 years. He continued farming and building things until they moved into Sisseton. Roy along with Floyd started Cleveland Metal and Repair. He also helped Gordon build a machine to make survey stakes for his business, and he helped build an adjustable message bed for his granddaughter Ashley.  His last building project was a weed eater attached to his lawn mower so he could do everything at one time.

He enjoyed playing cards, fishing, dancing and helping his family do whatever they needed.

In return, they had to play cards to pay off their bills.  The last game played to pay off the debt was Kings in the Corner.  He always finished the night saying “come on back” and “you can’t do that playing cards.”   The kids would say “I’ll be back and I’ll be the winner.”   They would always say “Grandpa you’re cheating.”  Roy always made the nights fun! Roy and his family, brothers and sisters and in-laws were known to play cards until 4 am and then do chores in the morning.

Roy is survived by his loving wife of seventy years: Arlene; two sons: Gordon (Debbie) of Custer, South Dakota and Floyd of Sisseton, South Dakota; two daughters: Juanita of San Antonio, Texas and Marita  (Bill) of Sisseton, South Dakota; 12 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; 3 adopted great grandchildren and families; 2 step grandchildren and families; three brothers: Dale (Bonnie) Cleveland, Calvin (Linda) Cleveland and Charles (Lorraine) Cleveland; two sisters: Arlene (Sherman) Thovson and Gloria Echols; an aunt: Verna Knapp.

He was preceded in death by a son Jackie Roy, his parents Floyd and Hazel Cleveland, his in-laws Leo and Hulda Huff, four brothers Harlan (Delores) Cleveland, Ervin (Maren) Cleveland, Sgt. James Cleveland and Duane Cleveland, a nephew Bob Cleveland, a step grandson David Petersen, a step great grandson Tanner Bruce, two sons-in-law Alvin Ziebarth and Jimmy Stavick and by two brothers-in-law Melvin and Arlo Huff.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at the church one hour prior to funeral services.

Funeral services for Roy Cleveland will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 11:00 A.M. at Grace Lutheran Church in Sisseton, South Dakota.  Pastor Paul Kosel will officiate. Organist will be Marti Knudsen and Riley Huff will sing “Amazing Grace” and “The Old Rugged Cross”.   Andrew Harrill will read the obituary. Gene Hortness will read a poem and memories from his family.  Usher will be Mark Tasa.

Interment will follow at Buffalo Lake Lutheran Cemetery in Eden, South Dakota, with Military Rites by the Otto-Quande-Renville American Legion Post 50.

Honorary Casket Bearers: Jennifer Harrill, Jessica Endres, Ashley Cleveland and Brittany Dettler.

Casket Bearers will be Robbie Cleveland, Jack Cleveland, Jason Cleveland, Jeremy Ziebarth, Joshua Ziebarth, Jared Ziebarth, Dustin Cleveland and Derek Pond.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted, Minnesota is serving the family.    Online condolences may be made to


7 Guestbook Entries

  1. Lynnette Krueger

    My thoughts and prayers to Roy’s family.

  2. Richard huff

    Will always remember the card games at the Huff family Christmas and family reunions.

  3. Shannon (Reilly) Johnson

    I’m so sorry for your lose. He is at peace and reunited with Grandpa and his brothers cracking jokes. But he will be missed.

  4. Gary Cleveland

    You lived a good long life cousin!!! Thanks for the memories!!!

  5. David & Lisa Stiilson

    Our thoughts and prayers our with during this time of sorrow. Da

  6. Marian Cleveland Neshiem

    Our deepest sympathy always fun when we were young going to Uncle Floyd and Aunt Hazels place and lots of cousins

  7. Phyllis Gunderson

    Arlene & family,
    We send our sympathy & prayers.
    Phyllis & Roger Gunderson


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