James Aaron "Buddy" Cleaton III

August 18, 1943 ~ November 10, 2023

James Aaron “Buddy” Cleaton III, 80, passed away on November 10, 2023. He was born on August 18, 1943, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to James, Jr. and Gertrude Riling Cleaton.

Buddy attended Landry High School and joined the Navy shortly thereafter where he enjoyed the many facets of the military. Once returning to Lake Charles he began a career with Jones Oilfield Services and then worked for the carpenters ’union for several years. His entrepreneur spirit led him to opening his own business, Enterprise Auto, where he retired.

Fishing and hunting had always played an important part of Buddy’s life including numerous trips to Mexico. He had many talents including drawing and an extraordinary gift at building furniture. He enjoyed his family time, and his grandchildren and great grandchildren were so special to him.

Those left to cherish his memory are, his son and two daughters, Randy LeBlanc of Oklahoma City, Renee Williams (Bryan Keith) and Ramona (Keith) Ortego of Lake Charles, LA; his four sisters, Jean Kaufman, Teeter Longtain, Mary Mouton and Margaret Cleaton; his loving grandchildren, Christopher Williams (Jessica), Cody Williams, Carley Williams and Conner Williams (Amy), Gregory Ortego (Jessie) Cameron Ortego, Aaron Ortego (Madi) and Jeffrey Ortego; his sweet great grandchildren, Christian, Landon, Ryleigh, Brayden, Katie Beth, Lark, Adler and Joseph; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James A. Cleaton, Jr. and Gertrude Clarie Riling Cleaton, and the absolute love of his life – his wife, Gloria Ann Thomas Cleaton, and his children, Rory and Ross.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM on Friday, November 17, 2023, in the Johnson Funeral Home of Lake Charles Chapel, until the start of the service at 6:00 PM. Services will begin with a Cursillo Rosary, followed immediately by a Scripture Service. Cremation has been entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial contribution to the McNeese Foundation, with “The Kay Doré Counseling Clinic” in the memo line along with James Cleaton. They can be mailed to the following address:

McNeese Foundation Box 91989 Lake Charles, LA 70609

Donations may also be made online by visiting the McNeese Foundation website at ( There is a “GIVE NOW” button in the top right corner of the screen. Click that button, select the amount of your gift, or enter the amount in the appropriate area. There is an area to specify that this gift is in memory or in honor of a family member or a friend (they can insert your father’s name here). The next section allows you to designate an area you wish to make the donation to. There is a drop-down menu to select the ‘The Kay Doré Counseling Clinic ’as the recipient of the gift. You will need to fill in your contact information, then hit the “Submit” button. The next screen will be where you enter your credit card information. Once that is entered, select the “Submit Payment” button. As a side note, all donations to the McNeese Foundation are tax deductible.


Visitation: Friday, November 17, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Rosary: Friday, November 17, 2023
6:00 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Funeral Service: Friday, November 17, 2023
6:30 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

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  1. Sincerest sympathy to all of the family. God bless you all, & be comforted with wonderful memories. With love, Doris & Adolph

  2. Good Bye old friend, as teens and going to Landry we ran the roads together Buddy. Had not seen or talked to you in over 60 years, We had some fun times and I will always remember my first job at the College Inn on Ryan St. across from the science bldg. Your dad hired me, soda jerk etc…. Fond memories from then.. Rest well old friend.
    Philip Wells

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