Donald Lee Cluff, 70, passed from this life on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at San Juan Regional Medical Center. He was born May 31, 1943, in Gallup.
Don was preceded in death by his mother, Faye (Lee) Marsh; his father, Elmer Dean Cluff; his beloved grandparents, Pearl (Biggs) Lee and George W. Lee who raised him; and his mother and father-in-law, Margaret Burton Winters and E. Francis Winters. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 48 years, Mary Cluff of Kirtland; six sons, Robert "Bobby" Cluff (Jill), Larry Cluff, Yancey Cluff, George Cluff (Tiandra), Joshua Cluff (Kourtney) and Benjamin Cluff; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Don grew up in Kirtland, where he made lifelong friends who were instrumental in building his character. He graduated from Kirtland Central High School in 1961. Don subsequently attended Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, where he met his sweetheart Mary (Winters) and they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple, Aug. 27, 1965. After completing his education at Brigham Young University in 1967, Don received a job as a teacher with the Central Consolidated School District, where he taught school for 38 years (10 years in Shiprock and 28 years in Kirtland).
Don was an exceptional teacher who had a special gift to recognize a student's potential and transform that potential into confidence. Don was also a gifted coach and was best known for his accomplishments as a head and assistant basketball coach for the Kirtland Central Lady Broncos wherein he helped develop the program into one of the most successful girls basketball programs in the state of New Mexico.
Don was also a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served for a number of years as the Bishop of the Kirtland 1st Ward as well as a High Counselor in the Kirtland Stake Center. Don greatly loved serving the members of the Kirtland Stake and was instrumental in helping so many people face the challenges of life and build greater faith in Jesus Christ. Don was a great teacher and mentor to many people in the Kirtland community and will be greatly missed.
A viewing will also be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, at the Brewer Lee & Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington.
Funeral services for Don will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center, 10 Road 6523, off U.S. Highway 64 in Kirtland.
Don's care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at www.serenityandcompany.com.
Published in Farmington Daily Times from Jan. 29 to Feb. 8, 2014