Clifford Marshall Church
Our dear Dad, Clifford Marshall Church, completed his earthly journey on March 18, 2023. Clif was born to Thomas and Alice (Austin) Church on November 24, 1931, at their home on his beloved Teaburry Road, Ronceverte, WV. He had two brothers, Roscoe and Willard, and five sisters, Stella, Sylvia, Joyce, Ruth, and his youngest, Doris.
Clifford attended Ronceverte Elementary School and graduated from Greenbrier East High School in 1951. During his school years, he enjoyed performing in school plays and playing left field and short stop on his baseball team for three years. He also played high school football, basketball, was a member of FFA, 4-H club, and Hi-Yi club, but enjoyed his five years in the Boy Scouts the most. He loved swimming in the Greenbrier River and sleigh riding with his many cousins and friends. He even got to fly in small airplanes with his brother-in-law, Alvin, from the small airport in Fairlea, after WWII was over, all over Greenbrier County. He met and dated our mother, Nettie Ethelene Hall, all through his high school years.
After he graduated, he worked for a short time at Watt’s Manufacturing Co. in Ronceverte, before enlisting in the U.S. Airforce. At Scott Airforce Base in East St. Louis, he attended airborne electronics school to learn how to maintain radio equipment for the Air Force, and later returned for classified radio equipment school. In 1953, he left for South Korea, where he worked on the radios of the 94-B night fighter jets for nine months.
In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Nettie Ethelene, and became stepfather to Peggy and Jackie and later becoming father to Debbie and Brenda. Eventually, he was stationed in Japan for two years and then to Pope Air Force base in Fayeteville, NC. While stationed at Pope, he made many trips to various countries around the world, including Vietnam.
In 1967, he was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Satellite Beach, FL, where he was in the space program that was under contract to NASA for the Apollo and Gemini moon missions. Clif’s job was operating high frequency radio transmitters and receivers – relaying the voices of the astronauts while in orbit to and from the moon to Houston on the EC135 – also known as the “snoop nosed” plane. He was given many awards and certificates for his duties from both the Air Force and NASA. He even saw the first moon rocks. The Naval ship that retrieved the capsule with the astronauts and the moon rocks sailed to a South Pacific Island, and his crew picked up the moon rocks from there and flew them to Houston. He really enjoyed those years and was very humble about his fabulous career.
During those years, he started long distance running and entering marathon races. He received many first and second place ribbons and certificates for his outstanding achievements.
As a boy, Clifford and his family were members of the First Christian Church in Ronceverte, WV. Later on, he became a life long member of the Church of Christ. He served in many ways throughout his life and was a devoted Christian man who was admired and respected and loved by many.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1976, he attended a bible college in Florida and also studied law at the local community college in Lewisburg.
Clifford had a zest for life and a very unselfish, giving nature. He loved traveling around the world, all kinds of music, long drives in the country, gardening, walking the Greenbrier River Trail, watching the sun set, reading and collecting books, collecting hats, buying gifts, and playing checkers.
Clif loved and leaves behind his daughters, Debra Spencer, Brenda Weaver, Jacqueline Jauz, and Peggy Ferdinand, who cherish his memory; as does his sister, Doris (Church) Campbell from Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and his sister-in-law, Nancy Church of Ronceverte, WV.
Clif was a grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle, father, husband, friend, and fellow church member to many who loved him dearly.
His grandchildren are Gaylyn Woodruff and husband, Scott, Christine Newlon, David Collins, Sonny Church, Anthony DeCoach, Justin Ferdinand, Joshua Jauz and wife, Danielle, Jesse Jauz, Joy Jauz, Katie Weaver, and Abby Weaver.
His great-grandchildren are Hannah Woodruff, Tyler Woodruff, Jake Woodruff, Collin Woodruff, Jonah Woodruff, Cameron Collins, Joey Newlon, Maggie Estep, Marley Jauz, Simon Jauz, Scout Jauz, and the youngest, Addalicia Keeling.
There are numerous nieces and nephews with whom he had special relationships with as well, and with dear friends, Kimberly and Robert King and Harry McCormack.
The funeral service will be March 25, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the Lewisburg Church of Christ.
Online guestbook can be signed at www.morganfh.net.
Arrangements by Morgan Funeral Home, Lewisburg, WV.