20 Jun Rusty Cleveland
Rusty Lyn Cleveland, age 59, died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism on April 30, 2023, in Lihue, Hawaii. a
Rusty was born in Sisseton, SD. He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1982 and started courses at Bismarck State College for Criminal Justice before following his call to join the US Army.
Rusty entered active duty in the US Army in July 1982, he attended one station unit training (OSUT) at Fort Benning Georgia as an 11 Bravo, Infantryman. His tours of duty included the Republic of Korea (ROK), Fort Ord California, and Schofield Barracks Hawaii. As an infantryman, team leader, and squad leader he deployed on many peacetime missions, including Team Spirit in Korea, Cobra Gold in Thailand, and Jungle Training at Fort Sherman in Panama. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, he joined the ND National Guard and requested to be deployed with the first units. He served proudly during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
His awards and medals include the Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Good Conduct Medal, 2nd award, the National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 bronze service stars, the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Professional Development Ribbon with the numeral 2, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon with numeral 2, and the Army Air Assault Badge. He also earned the Jungle Expert Badge, which is no longer recognized by the US Army. Rusty also attended many schools and courses not listed that were vital to the accomplishment of his unit’s missions.
After his time in the army, Rusty was an independent contractor at Bismarck Supervalu, where he met a myriad of people from all different walks of life. In his free time, Rusty had a true love for the weather and actively pursued storms and severe weather. Above all else in his life, Rusty loved his family, Roxi his wife, Kashmir his daughter, and his country. In the early 2000s when his wife was sick, Rusty dropped everything to travel to Hawaii to be at her and his daughters’ side. After Roxi’s death, Rusty stayed in Hawaii to be with his daughter and found new weather patterns to watch. Knowing of Rusty’s loving nature, his mainland family knew that his heart would forever be in Hawaii as close as he could be to the two women he loved the most: Roxi and Kashmir. Rusty’s final mission was to raise his daughter, and although he was missed on holidays his family all knew that was where he needed to be. When Rusty wasn’t working, he truly enjoyed taking vacations with his daughter. He gladly sacrificed himself to fulfill the commitments he had accepted, as a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and a soldier.
Rusty is survived by his father, Keith Cleveland, daughter Angela Kashmir Makena-Rayno siblings Roberta Mueller, Randy (Chris) Cleveland, and Ricky Cleveland as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Rusty was preceded in death by his wife Roxi Makena, mother Hazel Cleveland, and grandparents Loel (Eunice) Cleveland and Chester (Edith) Hartman.
In his honor, North Dakota Veterans Cemetery will be providing a military funeral at noon on June 23rd, 2023 for family and friends to celebrate the life of Rusty Cleveland.