Freda â€œMollyâ€ Cleek, 98, transitioned to eternity on Friday May 15, 2020 due to complications of pneumonia. She was widowed in 1997 when her husband of over 50 years, Everett â€œRedâ€ Cleek, died. She is survived by a daughter, Nora; two sons, Warren, and Colin; and granddaughters, Sheila, Amber, and April. Before the complexities of dementia and Alzheimerâ€™s befell her a few years ago, she was active for Crestviewâ€™s Epiphany Episcopal Church, serving joyously with her friends, scurrying through hilarious fundraisers, growing various plants, and reading the Lordâ€™s Word on Sundays.
Mollyâ€™s life since 1922 can be truthfully pronounced as â€œfully lived.â€ Born in County Somerset, England, she grew up around Blagdon Hill, a short jaunt from Taunton. This was a depression era in much of Europe, as was true in the United States, so living was not luxurious, but a time of school chums and creatively making do. When, in 1939, the Second World War began in Europe, the defense of England sought both men and women to serve the nation. In 1941, Molly joined the womenâ€™s branch of the British Army known as the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). After training, she operated range detection and height-finding equipment to assist air defense gun batteries more accurately fire at attacking aircraft.
Following the end of the war in Europe in the spring of 1945, ATS duties were transitioned to post-war tasks. Molly accomplished various secretarial duties until separating from the ATS in 1946 and becoming a civilian employee contributing to the rebuilding of post-war Europe. It was in December of 1946 that she and Everett were married in Frankfurt, Germany. He, too, was serving on the continent as civilian employee for the U.S. Armyâ€™s extensive logistics network.
Over the next few years, the pair traveled throughout post-war Europe, working in France and Germany as massive efforts to rebuild were necessitated due to the incredible destruction wrought by six years of warfare. In the late 1940s, they moved to the United States and resided in various locations until the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. With Everett being a National Guard member, he was called to active duty and off to war again. Upon his return from Korea, they decided to continue to completion a full military career in the newly established (1947) Unites States Air Force.
Stationed in Indiana in the early 50s, their first child, Warren, was born. Then, on assignment in Texas, the second son, Colin was born. A move to England for three years resulted in a follow-on assignment back to Indiana where daughter, Nora, was born. Subsequent assignments to Norway, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado took place until Everettâ€™s retirement in 1968. It was while in Denver that Molly got her driver license and gained greater flexibility in seeking employment opportunities. But they were far from through traveling, residing for part of a year in stunningly picturesque Hartsel, Colorado. Prospects in historic Canon City, Colorado resulted in a lovely year near the Royal Gorge; then on to Galveston, Indiana in 1970; and thereafter to Paducah, Kentucky in 1972. A great opportunity meant a return to England at High Wycombe from 1973-1977 where Everett taught Military Science as part of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Their adventures in England during this time were much enjoyed as Mollyâ€™s mother was not far away, nor were her brothers, Ted, Bert, Jim and their families.
After England, they returned to Kentucky, putting down some roots in Adolphus. With opportunities and her driver license, from the late 1970s through late 80s, Molly worked in Bowling Green, Kentucky for a psychiatrist, a job, where doing the stenography, she found incredibly interesting. Ever one who disdained injustice, she saw the plight of those with mental illness as a priority where she could help, even if only in the smallest of ways. Her kindnesses are known to just a few, but her tremendous satisfaction made any sacrifices worthwhile.
After Everettâ€™s passing in 1997, she moved to Crestview in 1998. She loved her cozy home, replete with various cats, dogs, walks in the woods, and plants galore–until the Alzheimerâ€™s meant a move to assisted living in 2015. An avid reader throughout life, she absorbed not only what she learned, but always carried an inspiring combination of tolerance, common sense, kindness, humor, and love. Even to the end, she was smiling and thankful for a cup of hot tea. She will be greatly missed.
A memorial service for Molly and her interment near friends in the columbarium at Epiphany Episcopal Church, 424 Garden Street in Crestview, will occur at an upcoming date.