Ethel Clifton Graham
1927 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Ethel's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Ethel Clifton Graham

Milford - Ethel Margaret Clifton Graham passed away peacefully Sunday, September 6, 2020 at home She was 93 years old. Ethel was born in Milton, the daughter of the late William Carlton Clifton and Beatrice Margaret Hudson Clifton. She was the oldest of their 10 children. Ethel's early education was at the Prime Hook Neck School, which was "a long walk across a field". In her 4th grade year, the school became part of the Milton Consolidated School. She graduated from Milton in 1945.

Her work life included L.D. Caulk, Milton Consolidated School, Milford Trust Company and Clifton Canning Company, the family business from which she retired in 1988. She was a member of Slaughter Neck United Methodist Church serving as a Sunday School teacher and Treasurer for the Church from 1995 to 2018. She was active in the WSCS holding numerous positions. She was a member of The General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star celebrating 60 years. She was an active member of the General Federation of Women's Club, Milton Century Club, and Shawnee Country Club including the WGDA - 9 holers from 1988 to 2015. Ethel organized many fundraising dinners for the Milton Consolidated School and Cape Henlopen High School Bands as well as the Farm Bureau and the Milton Lions Club. She was the long time treasurer for Reynolds Cemetery in Milton.

When Ethel retired, she enjoyed boating, fishing and crabbing with her husband and family. She learned the game of golf and was a 9 holer club champion. She enjoyed playing Bridge every other Thursday at the Rookery South. Ethel also dabbled in photography entering her photos in the Milton Century Club's annual photography contest. She won several years on the local and state levels. In 2001, the photo that she entered "Face to Face" taken of her granddaughter and sunflowers that were grown in her garden won 1st on the National level. Ethel enjoyed gathering with her family at their cottage on Indian River. She loved meeting out with family and friends for lunch or dinner. Ethel also enjoyed playing the game Joker with friends on Friday or Saturday nights.

Ethel was preceded in death by her husband, Robert L. Graham; daughter, Beverly Ann Graham; brother, Robert C. Clifton; and sisters, Doris Clifton Argo, Nancy Clifton Rhue and Helen Catherine Clifton.

She is survived by a son, Steven Graham and his wife, Kathy, of Newark with children, Jennifer Graham and son, Quinn Rodysill, Catherine Garcia and husband, Daniel, with children, Daniela, Jessenia and Eliana, Brian Graham and Tracy Headley and husband, Ryan;a daughter, Carol Shockley and husband, Joe, of Milton with children, Scott Shockley and wife, Lauren, and Amy Moore with husband, Mitchell.

Ethel is also survived by sisters, Vera Reed of Milton, Lina Carpenter of Milton, Eleanor Ritter of Milford and Carlyn Bryan of The Villages, Florida; a brother, W. Donald Clifton of Milton; as well as several aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. A special thank you to all the caregivers who gave Ethel great care over the last several years.

A time of visitation to honor her life will be held in the chapel of Short Funeral Services, 416 Federal St., Milton on Thursday, September 10, 2020 from 6 pm until 8 pm, with an Eastern Star service at 7 pm. Private Funeral Services, with burial, for family only, will be Friday, September 11, 2020 at 2 pm at Slaughter Neck United Methodist Church, Milford. All in attendance at either service must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing and gathering protocols.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to be made to Slaughter Neck United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 241, Milford, DE 19963.

Online condolences may be left at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News Journal from Sep. 8 to Sep. 9, 2020.
06:00 - 08:00 PM
Funeral service
02:00 PM
Slaughter Neck United Methodist Church
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Short Funeral Services
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
September 12, 2020
I send my deepest condolences to the Graham Family on the loss of your loved one Ethel. May (1 Thessalonians 4:14) bring you some comfort knowing that there is hope for those we have lost in death. May the God of All Comfort strengthen your family during this time of deep sorrow.
September 11, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the (Clifton) Graham Families for the loss of your loved one, Ethel Margaret, and pray God gives you comfort, peace and strength.
September 10, 2020
With sincere sympathy to all of Ethel's family during this sad time. We shared many happy times over the years, especially at the cottage and enjoying her crab soup. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.
Charlie and Linda Lesser
Linda Lesser
September 9, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Elise Richelle Steele
September 8, 2020
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Jill Lagatta
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences