Virginia D. Cleaver, beloved wife of James P. Cleaver, died on April 19 from complications related to pancreatic cancer at the age of 77. A long-time resident of New Canaan and Darien and most recently Naples, Fla., Mrs. Cleaver was born in Forty Fort, Pa. on Jan. 23, 1937. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1958 and remained an active alumnus. Mrs. Cleaver married the love of her life, Jim, on Aug. 29, 1959 and they shared 54 years together. A longtime member of St. Thomas More Church in Darien and St. Williams Parish in Naples, Fla., she was a devout and giving Catholic.

As a recovered alcoholic with over 20 years of sobriety, Mrs. Cleaver carried the message to countless women to help in their own recovery. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter Judith and her husband Richard Catanese of Trumbull, her daughter Susan and her husband Matthew Valenti of New Canaan, her son James and his wife Kelly Cleaver of Glenwood Springs, Colo. and her daughter Ellen and her husband Paul Bargstedt of Amsterdam, N.Y. Mrs. Cleaver was a loving grandmother to her nine grandchildren: Jake, Amy and Emma Catanese, Maggie and Callie Valenti, Jimmy and Alice Cleaver and Megan and Annie Bargstedt. She will be remembered fondly by both family and friends for her quick wit and wealth of wisdom, her family said.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, April 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 25 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien. Burial will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery, in Darien.

Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06606, 203-416-1316 or at