William H. Clifford Jr. ’51 died on July 4, 2019, in Lewiston, Maine.
(The following was published in the Lewiston Sun Journal on July 8, 2019:)
William (Bim) H. Clifford Jr., a long-term Lewiston resident, died peacefully in his home on July 4, 2019, knowing he was deeply loved by his children, grandchildren, family, and friends.
Bim was born in Lewiston on Oct. 20, 1929, the son of attorney William H. Clifford Sr. and Alice Sughrue Clifford. He attended Lewiston Public Schools and Hebron Academy. In 1951, he graduated from Bowdoin College, where his primary focus was on cribbage and football. Following graduation, he served in the United States Army, from 1951 to 1953. He then attended Boston University Law School, and soon after passing the bar he began practicing law at Clifford and Clifford, as well as serving as an assistant county attorney for Androscoggin County. In 1966 he was elected county attorney, where he served two terms. Bim was also elected to the Maine State Senate and served in the 105th legislature. He was passionate about his community and incredibly civic-minded, volunteering as a member of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission and serving as chairman for several years. He loved working, and his final years were spent in counsel with the firm of Skelton, Taintor, and Abbott.
Bim was an excellent golfer and a member of Martindale Country Club. He served in many leadership positions, including chairing the committee that planned and constructed the back nine holes at the course, making Martindale one of Maine’s premier golf courses. He shot at least one hole-in-one, and at age sixty-nine played a round of golf where he scored a sixty-nine.
While he loved golf and life in general, Bim’s true passion was furniture making. He took great pride in learning, planning, making, and eventually gifting his Shaker and Windsor style furniture to family and friends over fifty years.
Bim was also incredibly proud of the friendships and community he developed in the nearly thirty years he spent as part of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was a sponsor to many who suffered various addictions and helped guide himself, and many others, to sobriety. He was also a member of Saint Joseph’s Parish where he proudly served as both a lector and a eucharistic minister for many years.
In 1965 he married Cynthia Searles Clifford, the one love of his life, who predeceased him in January of 2019. Their fifty-four years of marriage was filled with love for each other, a mutual love of antiques, an extended bridge community, family, and many wonderful, dear friendships. Bim is survived by three children: Paul Clifford of Portland, Constance Clifford and her husband Scott Burrill of Freeport, Adam Clifford and his wife Wendy of Bristol, R.I.; as well as four grandchildren: William Clifford, Tyler McMinn, and Elias and Willa Burrill.
Bim is survived by four brothers: Peter and Marjory Clifford, of Lewiston; Rev. Richard Clifford, S.J. of Brighton, Mass.; Justice Robert Clifford and his wife Tookie; and Doctor David Clifford and his wife Carmen of Lewiston; as well as in-laws from the Searles family; and twenty beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister Constance E. Clifford, and two brothers, Attorney Jere R. Clifford and his wife Betty, and Paul J. Clifford and his wife Ann.