Col. Clifford Elvin Loper (USAF Retired) died unexpectedly on Friday evening, December 21, 2012, at the age of 87. Clifford was born July 23, 1925, to George Ashley and Beulah Mae Loper in Copan, Oklahoma.
He spent the first 17 years of his life in Copan, leaving during WWII to attend the University of Oklahoma. Clifford joined the Navy V-12 College Training Program at Purdue University, where he met his first wife, Lucretia Hammell. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and then earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Loper was a patriot who spent 38 years in military service to the United States, after WWII as a reservist for several years, then entering active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a dental officer, retiring 22 years later as a Colonel. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. Clifford's passion for his work and his love of adventure led him to be the Chief of Dental Services in hospitals in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. There he met his second wife, Berniece Lyle Zeidler.
Clifford lived at well over 37 different addresses before retiring to Panama City, Florida. He then volunteered his time as an instructor for the Gulf Coast Community College Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting Programs. Clifford was an avid golfer, enjoyed taking Education Encore classes, and was a member of the Civil War Round Table. He had a great love of gardening and making his surroundings beautiful. One of Clifford's great interests was genealogy and researching his family's history going back over 20 generations. He was an avid photographer and created volumes of albums filled with photos, family history, and stories to share with future generations.
Clifford's greatest love was his family, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Clifford spread joy and happiness to all he met.
Clifford was predeceased by his first wife, Lucretia; his brothers Elmer H., Farrest Matthew, Prentice (Pat) Berry, Trubon Ashley, Travis Dale, Leon Clark, and Jimmie Dean.
Clifford is survived by his wife, Berniece L. Loper; his sister, Wilma Bernice Forbes; his sons Clifford Mark Loper and Eric Matthew Loper; his daughters Mary Kay Molinari, Kim Brownfield, Susan E. Zeidler, and Pauline S. Sattler; his grandchildren, Amy Lucretia Loper, Marisa Ashley Frank, Robert Hancock, Savannah Hartline, Kevin Dale LeFevre, Dustin Alan LeFevre, Renee Nicole LeFevre, Lindsey Brianne LeFevre, Alyssa Ashley LeFevre, Benjamin Richard Loper, Matthew Hammell Loper, Luke Andrew Loper; and his great-grandchildren, Brian Andre Loper, Jalen Douglas Coles, Cassidy Rose Frank, Lyla Brooke Frank, Quinn Hancock, Aubria Grace Schuppe, and Alexander Dirk Schuppe.
A celebration of Clifford's life will be held at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends donations to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org or PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
2403 Harrison Ave.
Panama City, Fla. 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Jan. 6, 2013
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