Clifford K. Travis ’45

Clifford K. Travis ’45 died on August 7, 2016, in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

(The following was posted online at

Cliff was born on June 30, 1923 in New York City, and grew up in Yonkers where he graduated from Roosevelt HS. He was an avid airplane modeler and won numerous trophies for his models and was captain of the HS rifle team. In 1945, he graduated with a chemistry degree from Bowdoin College, a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. He later married Joan Ellen Tobias of Pelham and moved to Riverdale, where they had their first daughter, Sandra.

In 1961, they moved from Riverdale to his current home in Hastings-on-Hudson, and their second child, Victoria was born. Cliff had many hobbies including riding his racing bike and playing tennis. He also loved to make things. There was nothing he couldn’t recreate and he passed that creativity to his children who grew up with an eclectic set of talents. Clifford worked for ICI America for most of his adult life, in chemical sales. He traveled all over New England and would often take the whole family on his business trips. His love of New England extended to summers on Cape Cod with his children and grandchildren, Katy and Travis Bildahl, who when they met with him each summer greeted him with a special secret password “Grandfather Sir”. The Travis’s were also members of South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry.

As a retiree, Cliff and Joan travelled throughout Europe. He especially loved Switzerland, though he liked to tease that Joan cried on some of the steep high winding mountain roads that had no guardrails, and the Loire Valley of France where he had a fascination for the cave homes. When they were not travelling they spent time with friends and he collected cameras, eventually having one of the largest mail order used and collectible camera businesses in the US, selling to Asia. His wife Joan passed away 2003.

In recent years, Cliff’s love of airplanes would take him to the Westchester County Airport with his daughter Sandra, to watch the small planes take off. He was also an avid railroad model hobbyist. He was a member of Tri-State Z Scalers, a model train club in Wilton, CT, which he looked forward to attending each month. Each year he and his daughter Victoria would make the trek to Amherst, MA to the Big E Model Train Show where they would show their model train layouts to the public. This was a highlight for him and they would prepare all year. His models were highlighted in Z Scale Magazine and he was well known for his talents in the Z Scale community.

He is survived by his two daughters, Sandra Travis Bildahl of Annapolis, MD and Victoria Travis of Hastings-on-Hudson, two grandchildren, Katy and Travis Bildahl, and numerous cousins.

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