Cleston V. Staples

Cleston V. “Cles” Staples, 71, of Dublin, died on Monday, July 23, 2018, at his home with his family by his side after a brief battle with cancer.

Cles was born on Dec. 11, 1946, in Sanford, Maine, son of the late Clyde and Betty (Allen) Staples Jr. He grew up in North Berwick, Maine, graduating from North Berwick High School in 1966. During high school joined the U.S. Naval Reserves, upon graduating he enlisted and served his country faithfully and honorably as a U.S. Navy SEABEE “Can do!”

He married his lifelong best friend, Katherine “Diddie” Clukay of Dublin, in 1970 and began working for her family’s business, Clukay Bus. Cles co-owned and operated Carr’s Store in Dublin from 1975 until retiring in 2006. Cles worked for the town of Dublin highway department for several years. After retirement Cles worked lovingly maintaining the picturesque Dublin Cemetery.

Cles was one of the founding members of the Dublin Gas Engine Meet in 1972 and continued as a board member until his death. Cles was a 25-year member of the Dublin Fire Department and was involved in forming the Dublin Rescue Squad in 1980. He served Dublin as supervisor of the checklist from 2008-2014. He was a member of the Free Masons, Yorkshire Lodge No. 0719 in North Berwick, Maine. Cles was a service officer for the Cheeney-Armstrong American Legion Post Number 5 in Peterborough.

Cles enjoyed spending time with his wife going to many nationwide venues attending NASCAR events. Later in life he shared many special times at Ogunquit Beach with his wife and best friend Diddie. They also volunteered for many years delivering food boxes for the Keene Community Kitchen. Cles enjoyed spending time tinkering on old hit-and-miss engines and tractors, and could often be seen out touring near his home on an antique tractor (either red or green!). Cles spent the last eight years of his life known affectionately as “Papa” by his granddaughter, Riley. She was the joy of his life.

In addition to his wife of 48 years, Cles is survived by his son, Chris and his wife, Melissa, of Marlborough; his beloved granddaughter, Riley; two aunts, Mary-Elizabeth Steves of North Berwick, Maine and Sonya (Allen) Royal and her husband, Donald, and their family of North Berwick, Maine; two sisters-in-law, Carolyn White and Rosamond “Yummy” Cady; and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Clukay, and their families.

At Cles’s request there are no calling hours. A short graveside service will take place in the Dublin Cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. There will be a reception held after the service at Cricket Hill Farm (the gas engine field) on Route 101 east of Carr’s Store.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Cles’s name to the Dublin Gas Engine Meet, 75 Craig Road, Dublin N.H. 03444 and or the Keene Community Kitchen.

To share photographs, memories and condolences with Cles’s family, please visit his memorial page at