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Obituary: John W. Clifford

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John W. Clifford 1917 - 2005 John Woodrow Clifford passed from mortality to eternal life in the still moments following evening prayer on the night of August 5, 2005. His life's greatest trial, several years of heartbreaking struggle against Parkinson's and Pulmonary disease, came to an inspirational close in the last week of intimate farewells, quiet vigil, and a final, peaceful release. Dad was truly an exemplary member of "the world's greatest generation," spending a lifetime in remarkable devotion to his nation, church, and family. From the humble crucible of depression-era farming in rural Idaho, he determined to improve his life through higher education. He experienced both the horror of warfare and the prosperity of democracy. Living on a global stage, his life experiences with world leaders and diverse cultures shaped his unique sense of humanity: he was always a gentleman and truly a gentle man. Born in Brigham City, Utah on June 4, 1917, the only child of a short marriage between Nellie Ellen Hurst and John Lawrence Clifford. Raised alone in early childhood by a single mother who struggled to make a living for both of them as a maid, she had to give him back to his father after contracting tuberculosis, never to see him again. Raised lovingly by his second mother, Vera Packer Clifford, he adored his four sisters and younger brother. Memories of his childhood were both difficult and happy. Dad considered marriage and education as the foundations of his successful life. After carrying on a lengthy wartime courtship by correspondence, he married Coral Kerr in the Salt Lake Temple, April 23, 1945 while on leave from the Pacific. Forever faithful, theirs is a marriage truly based on partnership and love. Education became a lifelong goal. Dad graduated from Box Elder High, Ricks College, the Artillery Officers Candidate School, the Univ of Utah, the US Army War College, and the Univ of Oklahoma. Formal degrees include a BS in Civil Engineering and an MA in International Relations. An ardent American patriot, 30 years of service in the military taught him that preparation and vigilance are the best deterrent to conflict. He fought in New Guinea and the Philippines under his hero, Douglas MacArthur, in WWII as an artillery forward observer; and again in the same capacity during the Korean War. Throughout his career he commanded an atomic missile battalion in Germany and the 214th Artillery Group at Ft. Still, Okla. He was also in the Pentagon during the Cuban missile crisis as an advisor to the joint chiefs of staff, commanded troops at the 1968 Chicago convention, and spent two different tours of duty in Taiwan as a senior military advisor to the Republic of China. He retired in 1971 at the rank of Colonel to spend the next ten years in Norman, Oklahoma as the deputy director of the US Office of Postal Training Operations. 2ND HALF OF CLIFFORD OBIT MATCH TO 2ND AD 7002UEGG