Miller Wilson Clifton
December 21, 1930 ~ May 2, 2018
Miller Wilson Clifton passed away on the sunny Nevada morning of May 2, 2018 in Fallon. He was 87.
Born Dec. 21, 1930 to Jody Jefferson and Ida (Fuller) Clifton in DeKalb County, Alabama, he graduated from Fyffe High School and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951.
While stationed at Davis Montham Air Force Base in Tucson, he met Lorraine Rodgers on a blind date. In March, they celebrated their 64 th wedding anniversary. Life in the Air Force led them from Tucson, where daughters Debbie and Sherry were born, to Mildenhall, England where daughter Valaree and son Brett were born, to Whiteman AFB, Missouri, where son Guy was born. When son Joe joined the family in Alabama, Miller left the Air Force and he, Lorraine, and the kids made the cross-country move to Gabbs, Nevada where Lorraine’s parents, Charlie and Ethel Rodgers had settled.
Miller went to work for Basic Refractories in January 1965 and relished every moment until his retirement 32 years later in 1997. He spent much of his career with Basic as a kiln operator and was notorious among his coworkers for his practical jokes, particularly his accuracy with a sandwich baggie filled with water.
Always a craftsman and handyman, he built additions to the family home and spent many weekends cutting firewood on nearby Green Springs Summit, building an enviable wood pile that took up much of the back yard.
When time permitted, he could be found on fishing adventures from Schurz reservoir to the Reese River Valley to occasional deep sea adventures and a memorable trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.
In retirement, he and Lorraine relocated to Fallon, where he could often be seen on morning walks or bicycle or scooter rides. He also became known for the walking sticks and canes he hand crafted by the hundreds and loved giving away to veterans, acquaintances, fellow cancer survivors and just about anyone who asked, or didn’t ask, to get one.
An avid collector, he filled his garage with fishing poles, Mitchell reels and enough tackle to supply a bait shop for a year. The fishing gear was second, however, to his endless collection of hats, which ranged from baseball caps of every variety, to floppy hats to cover his ears while gardening, to fedoras to a corncob hat from Nebraska. He spent time with every baseball cap, carefully shaping the bill to his preferred bend.
He loved Alabama football and the Green Bay Packers. He also loved working in his garden and took great pride in his hot peppers, using them to make his specialty hot salsa.
Miller is survived by his wife Lorraine; daughters Debbie (Gabriel) Elizalde of Fallon, Sherry (Larry) Meeks of Fernley, Valaree (Ramon) Olivas of Lovelock; sons Brett (Beth) of Winnemucca and Guy of Reno; grandchildren Dameon Meeks, Barron (Mariah) Peterson, Bry Meeks, Shane Longworth, Bobby Clifton (Lexie), Charlie Clifton and Nathan Clifton; great grandchildren Rallye, Blaise, Jesse, Kayson, Hailey and Paige; sisters Betty White, Sybil Blackwell, Eunice Martin; brother Jody and numerous nieces and nephews in Alabama.
He was preceded in death by son Joe; brothers B.C., Lackey and Charles; and sisters Lois Dempsey and Velma McMullen.
A memorial service was held Tuesday, May 8th at Smith Family Funeral Home, 505 Rio Vista Dr. in Fallon.