Life Story for
Kimberly "Kimmy" Cleveland
Now residing in her heavenly home, Kimberly Ann Cleveland, age 52, passed away at her home in Matthews, NC on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from complications of her battle with cancer. She was surrounded by many loving friends and family during her last days. She was born April 11, 1966, in Kalamazoo, MI to Lonnie and Cheryl (Cochran) Walsh. Kim, or Kimmy, as she was known to many, spent her early childhood in the Kalamazoo/Portage, Michigan area before moving to Copperas Cove, TX then later to Germany during her teenage years. She was a spirited K-Town Raider that graduated in 1984 from Kaiserslautern American High School in what was then West Germany. She met many lifelong friends during this time.
After returning stateside, she made her home in Oklahoma in both the Tecumseh/Shawnee area and Norman. She moved to Texas in 2000 settling in Hurst in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. In 2006, she moved to the Charlotte, NC after accepting a position as a Human Resources Project Lead with Family Dollar’s corporate office.
She was the proud mother of a son, Colin Kerr, who was born in 1995. She married Burrell (BC) Cleveland Jr in 2005 although they started their life together in 2000.
Kim loved to make people smile and most people would describe her as a ray of sunshine. She took the time to really get to know everyone around her and would do little things to make them feel special. Kim was brave, she was fierce and most importantly, she was kind. Sometimes her kindness was masked as a swift kick in the butt to those she loved. She wanted to help people reach their full potential and she was a life coach to many at no charge.
Kim had a talent for cooking and baking. Her cookies are world famous and she would ship them off to loved ones as a special surprise. She was a food seasoning master and helped her husband win awards for his barbeque. Kim loved music. Her car and her home were rarely silent. She was also a fan of movies and that was a favorite way to spend free time with her family. She opened her home without hesitation and she was known for her hospitality. She would have favorite snacks of her house guests on hand and plans to cook their favorite food while they were there.
Holidays were special to Kim. On Christmas and Halloween, her house looked like a movie scene with elaborate decorations. People made special trips to her house on Halloween to see what she and BC had imagined and brought to life. They had a unique Halloween theme every year and the most recent themes were Frankenstein’s Laboratory, Creepy Circus and Rock ‘N Roll Party. Her special goodie bags were something the neighborhood kids always looked forward to.
In 2007, Kim was diagnosed with Olfactory Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. There were windows of time when she was cancer free, but she fought this ugly disease over seven reoccurrences. Kim would not give up; she did not take “No” for an answer when her insurance company initially denied a life-saving treatment. No one was surprised when Kim won her appeal after multiple denials and received her life saving Proton Radiation treatment. She was a fighter and people were amazed by her positivity even in the darkest days. She refused to let cancer define her. Kim was her mother’s main caregiver when her mother was diagnosed with cancer in early 2017 and tenderly cared for her until her mother lost her own battle with cancer in September 2017. She loved to travel, and favorite spots would be on the beach with her toes in the sand or anywhere with a beautiful view. She couldn’t travel as far during her fight with cancer, but still enjoyed regular trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Strawberry Festival in Fort Mill, SC. She gracefully handled her life challenges with strength and determination, leaving family and friends inspired. Kim chose to donate her body to science, to help better understand her deadly disease. She was thoughtful and giving until the end.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Cheryl Newton and was survived by her husband Burrell (BC) Cleveland, Jr of Matthews, NC, son Colin Kerr of Euless, TX, three sisters, Lesli (Matt) Kwiatkowski of Hudsonville, MI, Carla (Tyrone) Richardson of Moore, OK and Sarah Walsh of Pittsburgh, PA, nieces and nephews Alaina, Olivia and Evelyn Kwiatkowski, Corey and Cavan Rice, Ridley Richardson and Jacob Shuster and many other beloved extended family and friends.