Cover photo for Charles Arnold Cleland's Obituary
Charles Arnold Cleland Profile Photo
1935 Charles 2023

Charles Arnold Cleland

October 12, 1935 — March 9, 2023

Sugar Grove

Charles Arnold Cleland, age 87 of Sugar Grove, Ohio, went home to glory on March 9, 2023, while surrounded by his family. He is preceded in death by his parents, Sylvan and Dolly Cleland, Brothers Sylvan and Jack Cleland; Sister Mildred (Rife); Daughter Linda; and one great grandson. He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Nellie Matilda (O’Rourke); Children Donna Kay (Kenneth Hurst); Dan; Roger (Donna); and Darrell (Shelly); 15 Grandchildren, 26+ Great Grandchildren, and 2 Great Great Grandchildren.

Charles was born in Dexter, Ohio to Sylvan and Dolly Cleland on October 12, 1935. He was the third child of the total six siblings. Charles married the love of his life, Nellie Matilda, on September 6, 1952. Charlies held many jobs over the years but his true passion and talent was renovating homes for resale. Charles and his wife finally settled in Lancaster, Ohio with their 5 children, where Charles worked for Diamond Power.

Charles will be remembered for his quiet and reserved demeanor. He was always willing to meet new people, often finding common ground talking about construction, southern Ohio, or his love for the Word of God and his Savior. To his family, he was a jokester, instigator, and pot stirrer. He loved puzzles, gardens and sitting on the porch enjoying God's nature. He was the first one to offer a word of wisdom, a story from the past, or a scripture to provide direction. He was always willing to share his testimony of how God changed him, brought him through various storms of life, and how he was going to walk with HIM on the streets of God.

While talking to one his nurses who stated she used to go to church, Charles made the following statement:

“I’ve made mistakes and walked away myself, but HE has always taken me back with open arms. HE is my best friend. Best friend I ever had.”

At every family event and holiday when the family gathers together, Dad/ Grandpa/Charles was always asked to pray. This request was always followed by giggles and looks because we all knew we would have to lean in to hear his prayer. His prayers were quiet, calming, and sincere because to him he was talking to his best friend. As his family would lean in, it would not take long for everyone to feel the love of God as Grandpa gave thanks and praise to his Lord and Savior.

Friends and family are invited to Charles's “Going Home” Celebration held on Thursday, March 16, 2023  at 11:00 AM at New Life Christian Center, 2642 Columbus-Lancaster Rd NW Lancaster, Ohio. Pastor Gary Keller will be the officiating minister with a special song by Pastor Paul Bishop. Calling hours will be held at the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home, 405 N. Columbus St. Lancaster, Ohio, Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 2:00 - 4:00 and 6:00 - 8:00, as well as one hour prior to the service at New Life Christian Center. Burial will take place in Floral Hills Memory Gardens.

The family would like to thank all the wonderful caregivers that gave of their time and talents to provide for Charles. A special thanks to Charles’ daughter, Donna Hurst, for the comfort, care, and love she provided to her father. Also, thank you to Becky Funk and Hospice Care of Fairfield County for all the care and support they gave.

To send an online condolence, and sign the guest book, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Arnold Cleland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 16, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 9

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree