Cover photo for Gary Clifton, Sr.'s Obituary
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1944 Gary 2022

Gary Clifton, Sr.

August 19, 1944 — December 21, 2022

McPherson, KS


Gary Carter Clifton, Sr., 78, of McPherson, KS, passed away on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at Harmony Assisted Living, McPherson. 


Gary was born on August 19, 1944, at Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS, the son of John “Jack” R. Clifton, Jr. and Betty J. (Burian) Clifton.  He attended Kensington, KS grade schools and attended the last three years of high school in Newton, KS, graduating in 1962.  He played football, holding the running back and kicker positions.  He continued playing football at Hutchinson Community College.


Subsequently, Gary took over lead for his Uncle Kenneth’s custom combining operation from North Dakota to Canada.  Following in 1965, Gary enlisted into the United States Navy, serving three years in Vietnam with the 551 River Division Delta Devils.  He also served two years in reserve.


He met Cherlyn JoAnn Jones in Augusta, KS, and the two were wed on August 30, 1969, in Derby, KS. Gary gained a four year old daughter, Tina.  While living in Kensington, Gary, Jr. was born on December 30, 1970, in Smith Center at the same hospital as his father.  The family then moved to Newton, KS.


In 1976, Gary relocated his family from Newton, KS to McPherson, KS, to co-own Western Auto with his parents, Jack and Betty Clifton.  Once Western Auto was closed,  he went to work for Johns Manville until he retired in 2005.  Shortly after, he was employed by Stanion Wholesale Electric Co., Inc. He retired from there and started driving for The Cedars and then Bluestem PACE, where he was their first driver in the McPherson location.  Gary enjoyed working at Bluestem PACE, and he loved all those whom he worked with, and they loved him.


Survivors include: his loving wife of 53 years, Cherlyn of the home; children, Tina (Tim) Harr of Derby, KS and Gary, Jr. (Bobbie) Clifton of Wichita, KS; siblings Jacquie (Fran) Balzer of Wichita, KS, Roxanne (Gary) Riggs of Topeka, KS, Mike (Lucy) Clifton of Augusta, KS, and Brad (Pat) Clifton of McPherson, KS; four grandchildren, Cameron Hines, Emmi Clifton (Sam Kline-Martin), Liam Clifton (Cam Maglaughlin-Frieman), and Timothy Harr; one great-grandchild, Lilly Spunaugle; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law, Everett and Octavia Jones; uncle and aunt, Kenneth and Margaret Burian; uncle and aunt, David and Rita Clifton; aunt and uncle, Rea Belle and Nolan Spears; and grandson, Joshua Wilkinson.


The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at Stockham Family Funeral Home.  The funeral service with Military Honors will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, January 5, at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Dan Cate officiating.  The final resting place will be in the Old Mission Mausoleum in Wichita, KS. 


Memorial donations may be given to the Calvary Baptist Church in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460. 



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