Dateline: June 8, 2006

John Thomas “Jack” Clifford died in Clarendon on Friday, June 2, 2006. He was 70 years old.

Services were at 10:00 a.m. on June 6, 2006, in the First Baptist Church in Clarendon with Rev. Terry Tamplen of Midland and Rev. Tom Garmon, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon, officiating. Burial was in Citizens Cemetery, and services were under the direction of Robertson Funeral Directors, Inc.

Mr. Clifford was born January 22, 1935, in Clarendon to Dewey M. and Walter E. Clifford, the second of three boys. He attended Clarendon High School, graduating in 1953, followed by Clarendon College where he met his future wife, Shirley McAbee. They married March 28, 1954, in Hereford. Jack served in the US Army in 1958 and 1959.

Mr. Clifford and his wife returned to Clarendon in 1959 and went into the family grocery business. He continued in the grocery business and pursued other business opportunities in the community until his retirement in 1998.

The Clifford family opened their grocery store in 1914, and Mr. Clifford reflected during a 1998 interview for the Enterprise on the store’s relationship with the community and the values he and his family took from the store upon its closing.

“I’ve appreciated the friendships and the business over the years,” Mr. Clifford said. “I’ve had a good run….”

He said The Grocery Store taught him the value of hard work and was proud that that work ethic had been passed down to his children.

“They learned to work,” he said. “You can’t say I didn’t have any kids who didn’t know how to work.”

His greatest joy and pride rested with his children and grandchildren. He was also very proud of his many loyal friends and customers he had acquired during his many years of living and working in Clarendon.

Mr. Clifford was a member of the First Baptist Church in Clarendon; and he valued faith, loyalty, honesty, and integrity above all other traits. He was an avid supporter of Clarendon and thought it is the greatest place in the world to live.

Mr. Clifford was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, his parents, and a brother, Bob Clifford.

Survivors include his daughter, Virginia Ann Patten and husband Briton of Clarendon; two sons, John Walter Clifford of Fort Worth, and Benjamin Paul Clifford of Little Rock, Ark.; two granddaughters, Abigail Michelle Patten and Annie Marie Patten of Clarendon; two grandsons, John Ray Clifford of Lubbock and Robert James Clifford of Dallas; a brother, Fred Clifford and wife Connie of Clarendon and two sisters-in-law, Carol Cary of Leoti, Kan., and Jean Clifford of Quinlan.

The family requests memorials to be to the church of your choice in Clarendon or to Citizens Cemetery Association, PO Box 983, Clarendon, TX 79226 or to the developing Clarendon Girls Softball League, c/o Stan Shelton, 4603 CR 3, Clarendon, TX 79226.

Copyright © 2006, The Clarendon Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.