TAHLEQUAH, Ok -- Services for Cleo Deerinwater , age 74, will be held on June 6, 2008 at 3 p.m. in the Sequoyah High School Gym. Rev. Jim Carey will officiate. Interment will follow at Tahlequah City Cemetery.
Cleo attended Sequoyah Vocational School as a 3rd grader in 1947 and left sometime in the mid-1950s. He worked as a bus driver for Sequoyah Schools from about 1995 until retirement in 2008.
The family will receive visitors from noon until 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 5 at the Hart Funeral Home Chapel. The family has entrusted the care of Cleo to the Hart Funeral Home of Tahlequah.
The pallbearers for Cleo include Benjamin Brown, Paul Walker, Danny Deerinwater, Ryan Walker, Mike Smith, and Stanley Redshirt John. Honorary pallbearers include James Oosahwe, Derick Brown and Ellis Little.
Cleo Deerinwater was born on May 25, 1934, in Claremore, the son of Samuel Deerinwater and Myrtle Keener. Cleo served in the U.S. Navy beginning in 1954 until 1958 and again from 1958 until his honorable discharge in 1962 from the Sea Bees.
He married the love of his life, Louise Irene Hoff in Baltimore, Md., a marriage that lasted 44 years until Louise’s passing in 2006.
Cleo has lived in the Tahlequah area most of his adult life. He was employed with the Cherokee Nation and worked in transportation, a job which he performed for the past twelve years. Cleo loved the people he worked with and the students entrusted to his care. When he wasn’t working, he loved to spend time playing basketball, horseshoes, and fishing.
Cleo was very talented with small engine repair. But he was happiest when spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was always there for his family and loved them dearly. Cleo was of the Baptist faith and a member of the Blessed Hope Baptist Church in Hulbert.
Cleo is preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Louise, his brother, John, sisters Louise Deerinwater Leep (Seq.2gd in '47) and Molly Deerinwater, and nephew, James Thomas Deerinwater.
Those left behind to cherish his memory include his four loving children: Paul Brown, of Fayetteville, N.C., Kathy Temple and husband, Billy, of Linden, N.C., Carrie Brown and husband, James, of Tahlequah, and Sam Deerinwater and Debbie Myers, also of Tahlequah; beloved brothers: Leo Deerinwater (Seq.2gd in '47), William "Chuck" Deerinwater (Seq.~ 1st grd in '47 to Jr in '58), Levi Deerinwater, all of Tahlequah, Byrd Deerinwater of Ft. Smith, Ark.; beloved sister, Nora Lowery, of Tahlequah; five adored grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a special friend, Flo Hudson, and many other family members, friends and loved ones.
Those wishing to send an expression of sympathy are asked to consider making a donation in Cleo’s name to the Sequoyah High School Sports Program, 16091 S. Muskogee Avenue, Tahlequah, Okla. 74464.