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William O. "Bill" Clifton, beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away on the evening of Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center in Trenton, Florida. He was born in Cheatham County, Tennessee on November 26, 1919, the fifth son of the late William Overton and Vicye Dyce Clifton.
Bill graduated from Cheatham County Central High School (1939) and obtained an elementary teaching certificate from Austin Peay State University (1941) in Clarksville, Tennessee. He entered the US Navy during WWII (1942-45) and served as HQ storekeeper for the 1st Special Naval Con-struction Battalion (Seabees) in Guadalcanal. After the war, he moved to Florida to attend college, graduating from Stet-son University with a B.A. (1947) and a LL.B (1949).
Bill established his general law practice in Trenton in 1949, and retired in 2001. He drafted legislation to facilitate the creation of the Medical Board that operated the Trenton Medical Center, now a part of Palms Medical Group, and served as a member of that board. He was recognized as Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year (1987). He served as Gilchrist County Attorney, as well as City Attorney for the City of Trenton. He was attorney for the Gilchrist County School Board for 41 years. He served as Mayor of Trenton (1992-95) and Commissioner (2004-06) for the City of Trenton, and was elected to the Trenton Hall of Fame (2003).
Bill, a deacon at First Baptist Church of Trenton, taught Sunday School classes for over 50 years. He was an active member of the Trenton Rotary Club, sponsoring the first women members of the club. He was also a member of the American Legion, and a Mason. He enjoyed gardening and spending time with his family.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Marzee Aiton Clifton, his son, David Leon Clifton, his brothers (Homer, Isaac, Albert, Woodrow, and Joe) and his sisters (Mattie Sliker and Mary B. Norman).
He is survived by his daughter, Diane Clifton, of Trenton; his daughter-in-law, Faye Minshew Clifton of Ocala, grandchildren Stacy Clifton Miller, David William Clifton (Shelly), and Melissa Clifton Davis (Lance); great-granddaughters Megann and Morgann Miller, and step great-grandsons Bruce Mallory and Logan Rockman. In addition, he is survived by his brother-in-law, Rodgers Aiton (Marleen) of Gainesville, sister-in-law, Sylvia Aiton Sharp (Fred) of Merritt Island, and many nephews and nieces.
Funeral Services will begin at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at First Baptist Church of Trenton (118 N.E.2nd St.), with visitation at the church from 9:30 to 10:30 A.M. Graveside services will begin at 2:00 P.M. at Evergreen Cemetery (401 SE 21st Ave.) in Gainesville, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Mildred Bishop Education Fund (606 NE 7th St., Trenton, FL 32693), The Rotary Foundation (c/o Trenton Rotary Club, P.O. Box 52, Trenton, FL 32693), and First Baptist Church of Trenton.
The family thanks everyone at Ayers Health and Rehab for the wonderful care they provided for Mr. Clifton.
Arrangements under the care of WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 426 W. Wade St., Trenton, Florida 352-463-8888. For online condolences and guest book, visit
Funeral Home
Watson Funeral Home - Trenton
426 W Wade St.
Trenton, FL 32693
(352) 463-8888
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2013
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