June Henry Clifton, age 86, of Temple, Texas, passed away Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, at the VA Hospital in Temple, Texas. He was born in Star, Texas, June 27, 1923, to Rex and Delena Garrett Clifton.
He graduated from Star High School where he was an outstanding athlete, excelling in football, track, basketball and baseball. He was prevented from attending a professional baseball recruiting camp after having a car accident his senior year in high school.
Before his tour of duty, he was married to Helen Wigley on July 15, 1944, in Goldthwaite, Texas. He was a Corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II serving as an MP in the Pacific Theater. His final year in the military was spent as a guard at the war crimes trials of suspected Japanese war criminals in Manila, Philippines.
After returning from his military service, he worked for Brown and Root Construction in Texas and in Kansas for a few years. They returned to Texas where they started a family and resumed working in ranching and livestock business. He also continued his love for sports by playing with a semiprofessional baseball team in Goldthwaite (The Red Sox) for many years.
In 1959, the family moved to Lampasas, where he managed the newly established Lampasas Livestock Auction. After about 12 years of livestock order buying and managing the auction for Tommy Winters, he and Thomas Earl Winters purchased the Mills County Commission in Goldthwaite. He eventually became the sole owner and was well known throughout the livestock industry in the state of Texas.
When June and Helen retired, he shed his cowboy boots and hats for Bermuda shorts and tennis shoes and traveled throughout the country. As RV “full-timers,” they went to every state in the union and much of Canada. They lived in the Rio Grande Valley, Odessa, New Braunfels, Austin, and settled in Temple.
After being an avid domino and pool player, he took up golf and bridge. He played bridge and pool at many Clubs and Senior Centers. He played his last game of bridge in the hospital a couple of days before he passed away.
June and Helen celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary just prior to his passing.
He is survived by his wife, Helen, and three children: Rosalyn Clifton, Kay Null and John Clifton; and their families Marylin Orton, Gary Null and Tammy Clifton. Grandchildren include: Jennifer Caldwell and Greg; Brian Null and Stacey; Wade, Walt and Karen Jo Clifton. Great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Heather and Carson Caldwell, and Cooper Null.
His parents, two brothers, Bobby and Dean (Dizzy), and one sister, Rexine Kelso, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Stacy-Wilkins Funeral Home in Goldthwaite, with burial to follow in Murphree Cemetery in Evant.
Memorials may be made to Cherokee Home for children or Murphree Cemetery.