Louise Wilkenloh

  • "Clifford was a delightful woman! I am lucky to be her..."
    - Mary Ellen Perry
  • "Clifford was a beautiful woman inside and out. She was a..."
    - Judy Lane Davis
  • "Our prayers are with all of you in the loss of Clifford. ..."
    - David & Barbara Poe

Louise Smith Wilkenloh "Clifford" MORGANTON - Louise "Clifford" Smith Wilkenloh, 78, of Grace Ridge Retirement Center in Morganton, NC, passed away peacefully in the arms of her life-long friend, Rosemary Clower, on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, after a courageous battle with bone cancer. Born in Statesville, NC, on February 8, 1936, Clifford was the daughter of the late Andrew "Andy" Patrick and Louise "Ludy" Smith. As a child, Clifford grew up on the grounds of Broughton Hospital in Morganton where her father was the business manager. She always avowed that Broughton was the sanest place she had ever lived. Clifford went on to earn a Sociology degree from Women's College, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Clifford spent many years as a devoted homemaker, primarily as chef, chauffer, costume sewer, classroom mom, and occasional nurse for her two very active sons. After her boys were out of the nest, Clifford returned to the workplace as County Recorder of birth and death certificates for Catawba County. Clifford loved to travel and took numerous trips with her mother and sister throughout the years to Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, India, and other exciting destinations. Most recently, Clifford cruised the river ways of the Netherlands, and took an extended tour of Russia the following year. Inherited from her parents, Clifford was a life-long nature enthusiast and day hiker, introducing many to the beauty and wonder of the vistas from atop Shortoff and Table Rock mountains and the Linville Gorge. When her children were on summer vacation, Clifford packed up the car with boys and Siamese cats and headed for the family's rustic summer home. The family spent many enjoyable summers at "the Cabin" where they passed lazy days boating, swimming, and waterskiing on Lake James. After retirement, Clifford stayed on-the-go as an indulgent grandmother, a member of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and an ambassador for Grace Ridge Retirement Center. Everyone who knew Clifford knows that she was an avid bridge player, spending many happy hours with her Bridge Club partners at Grace Ridge. Clifford recently celebrated with Morganton High School classmates at their 60th reunion of the Class of 1954. She was just as pretty at the reunion as she was in high school. In addition to her parents, Clifford was predeceased by her beloved sister, Sarah "Sally" Turner Smith Walker. Clifford is survived by two sons, Andrew Fredric Wilkenloh and wife, Debra, of Monrovia, MD; and Russell Nash Wilkenloh and wife, Sandra, and their two sons, Patrick Nash Wilkenloh and Joshua Graeme Wilkenloh, of Mint Hill, NC. Clifford was also cherished by many, many friends that she made and kept throughout her life, going back to grade school. Clifford will be remembered for her funny and heartwarming story-telling (she never let a conversation pass without a good story) and her enduring courage throughout her illness. Two celebrations will be held in memory of Clifford. A life celebration for Clifford will be held in the Table Rock Room at Grace Ridge Retirement Community at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 29, 2014, at 500 Lenoir Road, Morganton, North Carolina 28655. The memorial service will be held in the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, Morganton, NC, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014, at 100 Silver Creek Road, Morganton, North Carolina 28655. Friends and guests are invited to rejoice with the family during both celebrations as Clifford was so special that one remembrance just isn't enough! In lieu of flowers, a memorial may be made in memory of Clifford to the "Grace Ridge Scholarship Fund" which provides educational scholarships to eligible Grace Ridge employees interested in furthering their education.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Aug. 13, 2014
Louise Wilkenloh
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Kirksey Funeral Home
406 Lenoir Road | Morganton, NC 28655 | (828) 437-2111
Funeral Home Details
Morganton, NC   (828) 437-2111
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