Alma L. Clifford, 83, of Rutland, passed away peacefully Monday evening, October 1, 2012, at Mountain View Center, with her loving family at her side.
She was born July 7, 1929, in Providence, R.I., the daughter of Harvey and Lillian (Guyon) Lumbra.
Alma was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy class of 1946 and a graduate of Rutland Business College.
She enjoyed playing the piano and was employed at Barters Music Store on Center Street where she met and soon after married G. Joseph Clifford.
Alma was an imaginative landscape artist with interests in woodlands and the ocean. She was the chairperson of Chaffee "Art in the Park" for many years and was very involved with Rutland's "Head Start Program" and Vermont Catholic Charities. For many years, she was a regular visitor of the Weston Priory.
She was a true believer in what people can accomplish if they are willing to try and had a wonderful sense of humor.
Alma cherished not only her own children but also the friends of her children. She made countless trips to the lakes and ocean and everyone was invited. During one visit to Maine, there were over 100 friends and family that stayed with Alma in the small house she rented.
After raising six children with love and enthusiasm for the woods and beaches in Vermont and Maine, she relocated to Palm Beach, Fla., in 1982. She graduated from the University of Florida
in Gainesville as a massage therapist and began a successful practice in Boca Raton, Fla., from 1985 to 1997. Among her clients were President George Bush and Burt Reynolds.
In 1997, Alma suffered a stroke shortly after returning to Vermont and proceeded to live her remaining years with such clarity, courage, humor and love that it became a gift to her family and friends.
She was an active member of AA and was very proud of her 35 years of sobriety.
Compassionate, honest and kind, she was a treasured mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is survived by three sons, Gary H. Clifford and his wife Charlene of West Rutland, James J. Clifford and his wife Patti of Rutland Town and George M. Clifford and his wife Sharon of Florence; a very special daughter, Peg C. Kraus and her husband Joe of Rutland Town; five grandchildren, Casey D. Clifford and his wife Stephanie of San Antonio, Texas, Kelli Clifford of Portsmouth, N.H., Aaron Kraus of Akron, Ohio, David Kraus of Rutland Town, and Joey Clifford of Biddeford, Maine; her extended family; her loving former daughter-in-law, Gail DesRoches, Dean Melen and Peg Bartlett, who were very supportive and appreciated; step-grandchildren Casey Grant of Rutland, Mackensie Grant of Maui, Haiwaii, and Erica Peterson; two sisters, Diana (Meredith) Jacobi and Gloria Sinni of Vero Beach, Fla.
She was predeceased by her son, David Clifford, in 1971 and by her daughter, Nancy Clifford, in 1976. Alma is enjoying a wonderful reunion with David and Nancy, her friends and relatives in heaven as she had a great devotion to her faith.
Visiting hours will be held Friday, October 5, 2012, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Clifford Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Rutland. Officiating will be Rev. Justin Baker, pastor. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to Christ the King Church or to Alcoholics Anonymous, c/o Clifford Funeral Home, 2 Washington St., Rutland, VT 05701.