Obituary : Charles "Chuck" Clifford
Charles "Chuck" Clifford died at Penobscot Bay Medical Center on May 13 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Mary, of ten years, cousin Lester "Bud" Whitney of Champaign, Ill., aunt Audrey Whitney of Somersworth, N.H., niece Danon Perry of North Reading, stepdaughter Marcy Thompson and her children, Natasha, Emerald and Natasha's son, Draven Lunn.
Born in Winterport, Maine, on June 29, 1939, Chuck's family moved to Medford, where Chuck graduated from high school. His cousin "Bud" lived in the same three-family home and from what we know, they were inseparable until the Korean War intervened. Chuck eventually joined the army and found himself stationed in such diverse climes as Italy and Alaska. He later traveled to England, Scotland, Greece, Mexico and Canada.
After returning home from his stint in the army, Chuck enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. He also found time after graduate school to earn an Equivalency Degree from Syracuse University in Russian language. In fact, Chuck had been studying Gaelic during the past several years. He had a thirst for knowledge and he never lost his desire to learn.
Much of his work after graduate school centered on planning and architecture. Chuck held planning/director positions with towns in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. His longest stint in the planning field was with the Martha's Vineyard Commission, where Chuck was executive director for 17 years. As a result of his expertise and long service in the planning field, Chuck was awarded numerous citations from both the State of New Hampshire and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was a member of many professional societies including The American Planners Association, The Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Directors and the New England Association of Regional Planning Commissions.
A history buff, particularly of Scottish history, Chuck participated in numerous bicentennial events as a Company Sergeant Major in a re-created Scottish Royal Artillery Unit. For approximately ten years, he participated in various historical events on behalf of the National Park Service, state and local governments, and numerous civic organizations. He was also privileged to be a participant in the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in both Canada and the U.K.
Once settled in the Mid-Coast of Maine, Chuck quickly became involved in local organizations such as the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Other passions included the Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society, the Duke of Gloucester Society, Historic Williamsburg and the American Philatelic Society.
Most recently, Chuck was affiliated with Town & Country Realtors in Rockland, where he was the current (2008) and past (2007) President of the St. George Council of the Midcoast Board of Realtors. He was also a member of the Maine Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
Although Chuck received many honors throughout his long and illustrious career, he will be remembered most for his humor, compassion and willingness to help whenever and wherever he could.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Spruce Head Community Church in South Thomaston, Maine on Friday, May 23 at 1 pm. Pastor Mitch Ross will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086 or the American Heart Association at 51 US Rte. 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074.