Thomas Edward Clifford, 82, of Fairfield Glade, passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
Tom was born at home on Christmas Day in 1934 into his Irish Catholic family in South Philadelphia, PA. He was raised spending summers at the Jersey Shore in North Wildwood with his siblings, parents and grandparents. He grew up around a musical family with his grandfather who was active in the "Two Street" Mummers string bands.
Tom's family moved to Delaware County and graduated from Upper Darby High in 1953. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1953 and attended boot camp and Jump school at Fort Bragg, NC, and Fort Campbell, KY. Tom became a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division "The Angels" in the 503 airborne infantry regiment and was deployed to Munich, Germany, from 1954-'57 where he was on active duty during the Korean War.
Tom returned to the U.S. and married "the girl next door." Tom married Peg, had two children, Karen and Tom Jr., and moved to Exton, PA, where Tom worked on a development for Hankin Builder and where the family would reside for 37 years. Tom spent his family years coaching, umpiring, being involved with Indian guides and princesses and camping. He enjoyed building and flying model airplanes and enjoyed building many projects including dollhouses, furniture just to name a few, for family and friends.
Tom was a master carpenter. He built homes in his younger years and then later worked at Villanova University in facilities management where he retired after more than 30 years of service. Some of his favorite moments included time spent with his two granddaughters, Lindsay and Leanne, taking them sledding, building elaborate sand figures with them, building a lemonade stand so they could paint seashells and sell lemonade at the beach. He loved the holidays and watching their Irish dance feiseanna, cheerleading, volleyball, tennis and attending all their events.
Tom and Peg retired to Crossville and resided in Fairfield Glade where they enjoyed their wonderful neighbors on Lake Canterbury for the past 10 years. Tom belonged to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Tom and Peg also volunteered twice a week at the Cumberland County Memorial Hospital for several years until he was no longer able.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Anna Mae Lonergan and Thomas Joseph Clifford; and brother, Ed Clifford.
He is survived by his sister, Anne Dwyer (Clifford) of Havertown, PA; loving, devoted wife Marguerite (Peg) Clifford; son, Tom E. Clifford Jr. of Crossville; daughter, Karen L. Alshefski (Clifford) of Chester Springs, PA; and by his granddaughters, Lindsay and Leanne Alshefski of Chester Springs, PA.
A Celebration of Life will be held later in the coming months in Pennsylvania surrounded by his family and friends. Family and friends are welcome to visit at their home.
Published on October 9, 2017