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DR. CLIFFE D. JOEL - Aug. 10, 1932 - Jan. 9, 2014 - WILLISTON - Dr. Cliffe D. Joel was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where his father was a soil conservation professor and mother an artist, before beginning a family avocado farm in sunny Vista, Calif. Cliffe graduated from Pomona College and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Harvard University. While subsequently working at Harvard Medical School, his research on the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain was related to the current omega-3 fatty acid trend. Cliffe then moved to Appleton, Wis., with then wife, Peteranne, to establish 30-year careers together as Professors of Chemistry at Lawrence University and to raise their three children. Most important to Cliffe was family. He was a loving, patient, and involved son, dad, grandpa and husband. He also thoroughly enjoyed teaching and took special interest in his students, especially those who were struggling. Classical music and singing were among Cliffe's passions. He demonstrated his love for nature through camping, hiking, traveling, and gardening. He ran marathons, and in later years he became famous for his long walks with his walker that he fashioned with two vases to fill with flowers picked along the way. He was a gentle and caring man, known to sneak bells on the collars of neighborhood cats to protect his beloved birds. Cliffe was ever a bit rebellious, but never without a noble cause. In 1999, Cliffe and his second wife, Emma, moved to Oceanside, Calif., close to where he'd grown up. They enjoyed traveling, the ocean, gardening, and spending time with Emma's children and grandchildren. Cliffe volunteered in the Stephen Ministry Program and taught NAMI classes. In 2010, due to progressing health problems, Cliffe moved to Vermont to be closer to his children. He became an avid fan of his grandchildren's music and sporting events. Cliffe was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Joel; mother, Nila May Joel; and brother, Ronald Joel. He is survived by a loving family including his daughter, Dr. Lisa Angstman and husband, Paul Angstman, and grandchildren, Nicholas, Samantha, Isabelle and Baker; son, Eric Joel, and grandchildren, Conifer, Jack, Lucy, and Molly; daughter, Sara Joel and husband, Dr. Ashesh Mehta, and grandchildren, Desmond, Jasmine, and Sabrina; his wife, Emma and her son, Daniel Cullinan, and granddaughter, Aiyana, daughter, Deborah Cullinan and husband, Kevin Cunz, and grandson, Hayden, and daughter, Lisa Cullinan; and his former wife and friend, Dr. Peteranne Joel and her partner, Don Manley. Cliffe's family wishes to thank the many kind people who enhanced his quality of life during his years in Vermont: Dr. Marvin Klikunas, Dr. Karen Cleary, Dr. Heather Finley, Dr. James Boyd, Dr. Marc Tischler, Dr. Paul Penar, Dr. Susan Dunning, Dr. Mark Whitaker, Margaret Sicotte, Au.D., the Luse Center, the caregivers and kindhearted neighbors of Pillsbury Manor South, LongTermCare Ombudswoman, Susan Alexander, Esq., and Chief Trevor Whipple and the South Burlington Police Dept. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Me2/Music for Mental Health, which is a beautiful local organization that combines Cliffe's passions for classical music and positive mental health. Donations can be made online at http://me2orchestra.org/ or mailed c/o Lisa Angstman, 127 Brookside Dr., Williston, VT 05495. Online condolences may be left at www.gregorycremation.com.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 12, 2014
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