John Lawrence McCleary Jr. was born on June 4, 1959 in Philadelphia, PA to the late John Lawrence McCleary Sr. and Roberta Tindle McCleary. He was the second of four children. He had one sister, Marilyn and two brothers, Andre and Renald.
John was educated in the Philadelphia public school system. He was a good student. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School in June 1977.
John loved his 5th Street neighborhood. Even though he moved away from it, he still worked In South Philadelphia for many years, and would sometimes return daily to spend time with friends and relatives. He even kept his barber, Curt, who was the only person he allowed to cut his hair. John enjoyed playing basketball with friends, playing checkers with the old guys in 5th Street, or just hanging out in the area. He was well-known, and well-liked by all who knew him. John dabbled in boxing for a while. John enjoyed being active. He was very meticulous about his appearance.
John accepted Islam as his religion of choice in his early teens. He was serious about his faith and was proud to be Muslim.
John began having children at an early age. His first child, Tyreik Turner was born when John was just 17 with Cheryl Turner. John married his high school sweetheart, Gail Johnson in 1980.Their union was blessed with two children, Khaleelah Nicole McCleary and Jamilah Maryum McCleary. Later in life, John met Sylvia Brown, and they had a son, Malik Brown. He also accepted Sylvia's son, William Purnell (Tank) as his own.
John was a diligent and dedicated employee of Southeast Philadelphia Health Action for many years. He worked there for over 30 years. That is where he met his significant other, Stephanie Becoat in June of 2000. They began sharing a home and their lives, and remained together until his passing on August 23, 2021.
John battled cancer for many years. John fought a valiant fight. He NEVER gave up, but eventually he had to give in. God put an end to his suffering on August 23, 2021.
John loved his family. He was preceded in death by his father, John McCleary Sr. Two special uncles, Samuel Brooks and Lawrence Allen; a special aunt, Emma (Teasa) Brooks; and his brother-in-law, Bernard Beyah. He leaves to cherish his memory: his mother, Roberta Tindle McCleary; 5 children: Tyreik , Khaleelah, Jamilah, Malik, and William; 12 Grandchildren: Taliyah, Khaleel, Tyreik Jr., Eshante, Essa, Kharla, Tahj, Makaila, Ayah, Jaabir Uthman, Mus'ab, and Haroon; One sister: Marilyn (Habeebah Beyah); Two brothers: Andre and Renald; Two Nieces; Eight Nephews; Two Aunts: Josephine Allen, and Mary (Maggie) Tindle; His "life partner" Stephanie (Mikki) Becoat: Mikki's children: Sherronda, Atiya, and Wydia; Mikki's grandchildren; Four great grandchildren; One sister-in-law: Terez McCleary; His Cousin Donna, who was like sister; and a host of other relatives and friends.
"For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death." Ps 48:14
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