Clarence Vernon Cleary

May 5, 1941 ~ May 23, 2022 (age 81)


C. Vernon "Vern" Cleary, 81, of China Grove, entered his Heavenly home Monday, May 23, 2022, after a period of declining health. Born May 5, 1941, in Cabarrus County, he was the son of the late Clarence William and Ella Mae Bumgardner Cleary. Vern was preceded in death by his sister Yvonne Cleary Benfield.

Vern is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sarah Overcash Cleary; a daughter, Dana Cleary Fleming (Brad) of Columbia, SC; and a granddaughter, Lauren Elizabeth Fleming of Spartanburg, SC.

Vern spent his career in advertising sales, starting his own company, Bowling Sweeps, which provided "promotion in motion" ads on the pin clearing arm on each bowling lane. He built relationships with bowling centers throughout the southeast. Center managers/owners and advertisers alike always enjoyed seeing Vern on his annual visits to their community.

Over the years, Vern worked with some of the following companies: Lever Brothers, Hon Office Furniture, Yellow Pages and as Advertising Director of the Kannapolis Daily Independent. His retirement job allowed him to be an agent at the Salisbury Amtrak station. He would tell the young riders about the history of the railcars, some of which were purchased from Ringling Brothers Circus. His rendition of "Lions & tigers and bears, oh my!" kept the children excited about their trip.

Vern served his community as a board member for the Enochville Fire Department. His outgoing personality was a perfect fit for "Train Host" at Amtrak. He volunteered at Cabarrus Hospital for many years and was elected President of the Volunteer Program. He was President of the NC Hospital Volunteers Association. As a survivor of two open heart surgeries, he gained great joy in giving hope to patients as he pushed their wheelchair after they had surgery. He said, "If I can do this, I know you can!"

The family wants to acknowledge the responsive and passionate care from Hospice of Cabarrus County staff members. Also, the multiple times of assistance provided by the Enochville Fire Department.

A celebration of Vern's life will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 28, 2022, at Whitley's Funeral Home, Kannapolis. Pastor Ken McQueen will officiate. The family will receive friends from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the funeral home Saturday, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please send any memorials to the Enochville Fire Department at 808 N. Enochville Avenue, China Grove, NC 28023

Condolences can be expressed online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Clarence Vernon Cleary, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Clarence

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Whitley's Funeral Home - Main Chapel

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May 28, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Whitley's Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Boulevard
Kannapolis, NC 28083

Memorial Service
May 28, 2022

11:00 AM
Whitley's Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Boulevard
Kannapolis, NC 28083

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