Urban O. “Jake” Cleek, 79, of 274 Klondike Drive, Warm Springs, Virginia passed away Monday, March 5, 2012 at the Springs Nursing Center in Hot Springs.
He was born January 7, 1933 in Warm Springs, the son of the late Andrew William “Bill” Cleek and Frances Criser Stinnett Cleek.
Jake was a veteran of the United States Army having served his country during the Korean War.
Jake was a lifelong educator who devoted his life to the education of young people in Bath County. He retired from the Bath County Public Schools after serving as a teacher, coach, principal, and Director of Instruction. Jake was the first Principal of Bath County High upon the consolidation of Valley High and Millboro High. Later Jake continued to serve the children of Bath County as a member of the Board of Supervisors for 4 years and as a member of the School Board for three terms totaling 12 years. Jake was a huge supporter of athletics, especially girl’s sports. Jake enjoyed attending the sporting events at Bath County High School and traveled many miles in support of the Bath County Girl’s Basketball program. In his last years he did not miss a home sporting event. Some of his most enjoyable years were spent operating Cleek’s Hardware on main street where he never met a stranger. Jake’s last job was as a Lockeroom Attendant at the Cascades Golf Resort. He always said, “he was the best shoe shiner in Bath County.” Jake loved the outdoors and was an avid outdoorsman. He was a member of the Fort Lewis Hunt Club for 40 years. One of his greatest passions was his horses. He spent his life riding and breeding a wide variety of horses. Jake loved growing flowers and working in his yard as well as woodworking. Jake made beautiful picture frames that house many of his family’s memories. He attended the Hot Springs Presbyterian Church, and was a member of the Hot Springs Moose and a past member of the Hot Springs Rotary.
He is survived by his wife of of 58 years, Marie “T.D.” Fry Cleek of Warm Springs, Virginia, two children, Jeffrey Olin Cleek of Warm Springs and Natalie Fitzgerald & husband Tim of Fishersville, Virginia; two granddaughters Whitney Fitzgerald of Roanoke, Virginia and Brieanna Fitzgerald & fiancé Dustin Coffey of Greenville, Virginia; a brother; Charles Stinnett & wife Pat of Pembrook, Florida and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by a brother, George Stinnett.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 2012 at the Hot Springs Presbyterian Church with Reverend Glen Coleman & Pastor Donald Lee Altizer officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hot Springs Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 476, Hot Springs, Virginia or the Bath County Athletic Booster Club, 464 Charger Lane, Hot Springs, Virginia 24445.
Arrangements are being handled by McLaughlin & Young Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made to www.mclaughlinandyoung.com


  1. To the family of Mr. Cleek. We are saddened at the passing of Mr. Cleek, we remember him as the principle at Valley High, and on the school board. We thank him for all his service, and being a good man, who spoke and remembered you wherever he saw you, my prayers go out to you and your family. God bless
    Shirley Cardwell and family!

  2. Shirley,
    Thank you so much for your kind words.They mean so much to our family. All that we thought we knew about dad has been reaffirmed in these last few days by people like you. Again, thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts. We are deeply appreciative.

  3. So sorry to hear of Coach Cleek’s passing. Deepest sympathies.

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to post on Dad’s passing. We really appreciate your kindness.


  5. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Cleek’s passing until today, May 16. Having received the benefits of his and his family’s kindness many years past, I feel deeply honored to give tribute. My life as it is today and for the some 40 plus years since our paths crossed would not have been or would be what it is today without their influence and generosity. There are many who need to give their thanks for his positive role that he played in their life. A lot can be said here, that mankind was given a gift, his life, and the world was made better because of it. His legacy will be one we all will cherish, want to follow, and have as our own. He was a true person dedicated to the priniciples of serving, helping, and compassionate loving–doing something when there was nothing to do it with! Giving a unknown boy a place to live, to eat, to sleep, and a place to be loved. Thanks! Dusty

  6. Dusty
    I don’t know if you will return to this site but I felt I had to leave a reply here as I have just visited Dad’s obit and saw your comments for the first time (12/11/12). I want to thank you so much for the words you have left here honoring my dad. I know that they are from your heart and that my dad was just as important in your life as he was and continues to be in ours. You don’t always have to have the same blood running through your viens to be considered family. Dad considered you a member of our family and once a member, always a member. May God continue to bless you each and every day.



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