Cleolee was born April 17, 1936 in Potsdam, NY, the daughter of the late Carl and Eleanor Moran Rowe. She was the youngest of 6 children, all of whom she looked up to and loved dearly. As a child, she had the honor of presenting President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor with flowers when their train stopped in her town. She graduated in 1954 from Potsdam High School. In 1957, Cleolee married her husband, Donald L. Paradise, who predeceased her in 2014, and moved to Skaneateles, NY, where they raised their 3 children. She was a communicant of St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Skaneateles, and drew much strength from her Catholic faith.
She was employed with the Skaneateles Central School District for 46 years. Her first 26 years were spent as a school bus driver, and then she retired from driving and became a bus aide to special needs children. Cleo had an amazing rapport with all the children she watched over and cared for throughout the years, and was well loved by many in return.
Cleo liked reading, gardening and relaxing at her family camp on Cayuga Lake. She loved to travel, especially to Cape Cod every summer, and to Florida. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family.
She is survived by her loving children, her son, Christopher J. Paradise, her daughter, Dawn M. Schaeffer, and her daughter and son-in-law, Toni L. and Craig R. Anderson. She is also survived by her loving grandchildren, Nicole E. Schaeffer and Eric M. Schaeffer, whom she loved a bushel and a peck.
In addition to her parents and her husband, she was also predeceased by her brothers William, Robert and Carl Rowe, and her sisters, Peggy Caruso and Eleanor Harmer.
A funeral mass will be offered Friday, June 23rd at 10am at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, Skaneateles. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, June 22nd from 4 to 7pm at the Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles.
In memory of Cleo, contributions may be sent to SAVES or the American Cancer Society.
To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.