Claude Elmer Clifton, retired electrical engineer, died April 7, 2013. He was 96.
Mr. Clifton was born to John William Clifton and Fee Wickliffe Clifton on May 19, 1916, in a small Indian village in northeastern Oklahoma called Big Cabin. He grew up in Bulcher, Texas, and was a star athlete in high school, captain of the basketball team and took first place in nearly every decathlon event.
Mr. Clifton met his wife, Sarah Virginia Guion, while he was working as a roughneck in Alice, Texas. He worked for oil companies for nearly 13 years before becoming an electrician for G.C. Electric in Fulfurrias, Texas. In 1962, they moved to Flagstaff where Mr. Clifton worked as head electrical engineer for NAU’s physical plant. He retired after nearly 17 years and spent his time prospecting, working the creeks and mountains of Arizona and lakes and rivers of California.
For as long as anyone can remember, Mr. Clifton was never without his trademark pocket protector, filled with an arsenal of writing and measuring utensils necessary for sketching out one of his many ideas, diagrams or circuits, and his sweat stained LBJ Open Road Stetson hat. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Mr. Clifton was preceded in death by his wife Sarah; brothers Robert and Johnny; and sisters Maybelle, Willie Mae, Virginia and Lucille. He is survived by sons Claude (Jean) and Michael (Norma Jean); sister Geraldine Chisom; sister-in-law Betty Jean Bush; grandchildren Bruce (Trudy), Claude, Christine, Brian (Jessica), Michael (Amy) and Justin; great grandchildren Jordan, Brook, Sierra, Davis, Abbey, Caleb, Mason and Molly; many nieces and nephews; and care givers Carl, Ellie and Shelly.
For memorial information, contact Melcher Mortuary Chapel of the Roses at (480) 964-4537. Friends may share their memories of Mr. Clifton online.