John J. “Pop” Clifford, 89, of Avoca, died Thursday, May 28, at Allied Hospice Center, Scranton following a brief illness. He was born in West Avoca on Oct. 3,1930, the son of John and Anna (Burke) Clifford.
John was a 1949 graduate of Avoca High School, where he was a standout athlete in baseball, basketball and especially football. He also graduated from St. Mary’s School in Avoca. He was a founding member of the Avoca Jolly Boys. He had been a member of the West Side Social Club and the American Legion in Avoca. In his younger years, he was active in the community, having organized events for the Jolly Boys and to benefit youth programs in the town.
John was a member of St. Mary’s Church and later Queen of the Apostles Parish in Avoca and was a proud veteran of the Korean War.
He was employed by Hamilton Standard in Connecticut and then at the Trane Company in Dunmore for many years.
Pop could build or fix anything. He built the house he and his wife Pat lived in for the past 59 years. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He would do anything for his family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by seven sisters and their husbands, Helen and David Berlew, Grace and Joe McDermott, Mary and Hank Golden, Nancy and Frank Barnowski, Kitty and Tony McAndrew, Doris and Jack Smiles and Lillian and Ed Walsh, and a brother, Thomas Clifford.
Surviving are his wife, the former Patricia McDonald, with whom he celebrated his 59th wedding anniversary on May 6th; his daughter Patti Houston and her husband Rob and their daughter Molly, of Duryea; sisters and brothers-in-law Theresa McDonald, Avoca; Ray and Theresa McDonald, Avoca and Jerry Williams, West Avoca, and many nieces and nephews.
The family thanks Dr. Martin Moran and his nurse, Annie, for their care over the years, and Mindy Torbik-Belleman at Regional Hospital of Scranton.
Due to the current restrictions, no viewing will be held. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Mary’s Church, Queen of the Apostles Parish, followed by interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Avoca.
Memorial contributions, if desired, can be made to Queen of the Apostles Parish, 715 Hawthorne St., Avoca, PA 18641.
Funeral arrangements are by Kiesinger Funeral Services, Inc., 255 McAlpine St., Duryea.