Clifford A. McGriff, Jr., passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at Halifax Hospice in Port Orange, with family by his side. Cliff was born in Wadesboro, N.C., on May 7, 1930 to Clifford A. McGriff, Sr. and Dottie Moody McGriff. Raised in Bonifay, he graduated from Holmes County High School as a Bonifay Blue Devil athlete. In 1951, he received his MS Ed from the University of Florida
- College of Education. After graduating UF, Cliff served in the U.S. Army
from 1952 to 1955 while stationed in Japan during the Korean War
. Cliff's career in education spanned 40 years with the Florida Retirement System. Starting his career at Bunnell High School in 1957 as a teacher and coach of many sports and ending his tenure in 1970 as principal. At that time, Cliff joined the St. Johns River Junior College staff as assistant basketball coach for many years, before accepting an administrative position as Financial Aid Director and Registrar until his retirement in December 1990. Cliff's true passions were being with friends and family, gardening, officiating high school sports with his many colleagues and cheering on any sport for his Alma Mater, the Florida Gators and above all was his love of fishing. After retirement, Cliff joined the Palatka Sunrise Rotary Club
, enjoying the camaraderie of the members and their many community activities.
Cliff was predeceased by his wife of 38 years, Gwendolyn N. McGriff and his sister, Dorothy J. McGriff.
He is survived by two daughters, Cheryl (Mike) Oplt of Ormond Beach and Joy M. Meadows of Gainesville; four4 grandchildren, Chelsea Oplt, Caitlyn Wise, Sarah Meadows and Garrison Meadow; a sister, Nell M. Phillips of Bonifay; a nephew Bert Lowe, Panama City; companions and caregivers of many years, Mrs. Leonia Frady and Mrs. Loretta Essau and his many friends, extended family and colleagues.
Services were held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 at Johnson-Overturf Chapel in Palatka. Graveside services and burial were Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., at Forest Meadows Cemetery East, 3700 S.E. Hawthorne Rd. in Gainesville. The family received friends Tuesday at the funeral home from 12 Noon until the time of services at 1 p.m. Memorial donations may be made in Cliff's memory to Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, 380 Boys Ranch Road, Palatka, FL 32177. Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Cliff's Book of Memories page at www.JohnsonOverturffunerals.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.