He was taken suddenly which made our goodbyes impossible. What we’d give for just one more moment with Cliff, just to tell him how heartbroken we are, how loved he was and how much we miss him.
Cliff always knew how to make an entrance, either too soon or too late. He started off life arriving so soon that he weighed in less than two pounds. Long before baby incubators, so family memories of his first weeks was watching over him in a basket placed on a chair in front of an open oven in the kitchen to keep him warm.
Trials and misfortunes visit all of us. Most of us would feel that being born so premature would be enough for at least a few decades. However, in Cliff’s case, he faced more than his share. When he was nine, while getting off of a school bus, he was hit by a speeding truck. The result was a broken back, serious head injury and multiply other trauma.
Those injuries, especially his head trauma would challenge Cliff all his life. In his formative years, he struggled with dyslexia. In conjunction with his brain trauma, reading became an impossibility. His school years became an unpleasant struggle and a place that held few enjoyable memories for him.
Cliff was no quitter. His strength, endurance and good humour that he had facing challenges was a quality that defined his life journey. As an adult, with encouragement from his life partner, he went back and learned to read. Books opened worlds to Cliff that he never tired of. He became a voracious reader and a book collector.
When people first met Cliff they initially saw him as quiet and shy. However, when they got to know him better, they soon realized that behind that exterior was a gentle, caring, kind and loving soul. Cliff throughout his life loved his family and friends. He particularly loved visits from his Brother David and phoning or emailing his sisters. He did his utmost to stay connected with all of them.
Christmas was a big deal for Cliff. You were likely to see his Christmas tree still up in March. Even after he’d take down the main decorations, he always left a few small Christmas ornaments around, just to make sure the miracle of Christmas was always in his home. His Faith meant a lot to Cliff. Throughout his life, he actively sought out to understand God, his role in the world and how applying his Faith played out in all his interactions with other people and especially in his own relationship with God.
Visiting with Cliff almost always included goodies. He loved the tradition of a great High Tea. His hobbies included great food, cooking, sweaters and an eclectic accumulating of whatever peeked his interests at the moment. It could be cookbooks, photography, nicknacks, or even small kitchen appliances. Cliff took no prisoners when he embraced his passions.
Pets were a big part of Cliff’s world. He loved all animals, especially cats. Watching Cliff interact with his special cats was a window into the gentleness of who he was. Often it was hard to tell whether Cliff was in charge or his cats were. There were many times when Cliff would tell stories of how his Suki, Gemi, or Peaches would wake him in the middle of the night for a treat. He never failed to deliver, always with good humour and cuddles.
Cliff is predeceased by his life partner, Eric Scott-Williams. He is survived by his sisters, Peggy Merk, Jan Little, Wendy McDonnell, Lillian Crittenden, Brenda Bouvette, Darlene Bouvette, and his brothers, David Bouvette and Mark Bouvette.
To send flowers to Clifford's family, please visit our floral store.