Florence E. Clifford

Florence E. Clifford

Madison-Florence E. Clifford, 92, died at Middleton Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Florence was born March 3, 1920, in Milwaukee to Jacob and Josephine (Manning) Graff. She attended St. Therese of the Little Flower Grade School, Walker Junior High School and Pulaski High School prior to moving to Juneau, Wisconsin, in 1936, where she lived with her beloved Uncle Bill and Aunt Florence (Manning) Kolberg. She graduated from Juneau High School in 1938.

When she was a young woman, she moved back to Milwaukee and worked for Harnischfeger Industries into WWII. She married Eugene Robert Clifford on August 22, 1942. Following the war, she and her husband owned, published and edited The Juneau Independent Newspaper and Printing Co. for 15 years. In 1960 the family moved to Madison where she was assistant village clerk for the Village of Shorewood Hills. In 1970, she and her husband moved to Ft. Washington, MD where she served as office manager/bookkeeper for The National Air Carriers Assn. in Washington, D.C. She and her husband enjoyed the excitement of Embassy parties, Presidential Inaugural Balls, the D.C. social scene, and the joy of hosting relatives and friends, visiting, sharing and experiencing the Washington area with them. Upon retirement, she and her husband moved back to Madison in 1988.

Politics was an avocation for Florence. While in Wisconsin, she was deeply involved in numerous state and national campaigns, including her husband’s, with a highlight being manager of John F. Kennedy’s 2nd Congressional District campaign in 1960, where she worked daily and closely with the future President and each of his siblings and their spouses. She was a life-long Democrat and proud of it.

Following the devastation of the death of her husband of 48 years in 1990, she busied herself with social activities with friends and relatives, taking trips to see relatives in California, going to Ireland and enrolled in several classes, some to hone her writing skills, others to explore crafts like ceramics. Florence was an avid sports fan. She especially delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was the consummate red-headed Irishwoman, known for her Irish wit and sense of humor. She was a devout Catholic and maintained her Christian values throughout her life.

She is survived by her three children: Eugene (Susan) Clifford, Maureen (Steve) Sundell and Keith (Linda) Clifford, four granddaughters Cathleen (John) Clifford-Cordes, Erin (Joseph) Porter, Meghan and Colleen (Ian Davidson) Clifford, and four great-grandchildren: Max Clifford, Everly and Calian Porter, and Isla Davidson. And, special nieces and nephews of the union of Al and Mary Ellen (Clifford) Joda: Mary Ann, Patti, Kathy, Monica, Clifford (Kip), Beth and John and their families; relatives of the Allen, Kolberg, MacGregor and “Watertown Branch” of the Clifford clans and special cousins Helen Jean and David MacGregor, and many friends and relatives.

Florence was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her step-mother, Moira (Mambleau) Graff, and an infant sister.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at Blessed Sacrament Church, 2116 Hollister Ave., Madison with Fr. Steve Kuhlmann presiding. A Visitation will take place from 9:30 am until the time of Mass. Burial will be immediately following at resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Madison.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.