On Monday, December 5, Clifford Lee passed away just a few weeks short of his 83rd birthday. Clifford was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the early 1950s he served as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman and traveled the world. After working briefly at a downtown San Francisco bank, he joined his father’s auto mechanic business, a profession he retired from forty-years later. In the mid-1970s he moved to a rural Jacksonville property with his partner “Jo.” He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting. Clifford often had a twinkle in his eye, with a sly sense of humor. Some of us regarded him as the suitably irreverent Archbishop of Buncom. A thoughtful and inquisitive person, Clifford was a life-long learner; he was well-read on a wide variety of subjects including science, history, politics, and public policy. He was a founding member of the Sterling Creek Men’s Book Club—we will miss his skillful storytelling and witty, insightful contributions to our monthly gatherings. For his last 40 years, Clifford made his home on Sterling Creek Road. A few years ago, inspired by the poetry of Billy Collins, Clifford wrote:
A flash of white catches my eye.
A half-wilted crocus amongst the weeds—
the lone, sad survivor
of a beautiful bed of bulbs
planted countless years ago.
Age may soon claim us both.
Clifford is survived by his son, Eric, of Rhode Island, and his half-sister Donna Lee, of New Mexico.