In Passing

Betty Jo Clifton

A memorial service was held for Betty Jo Clifton on Tuesday, June 18, at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church with Rev. Marvin Arnpreister officiating. Betty passed away on May 19 in Oklahoma City, where she had lived for the past three years.

Betty was born in Norwich, Kansas, on March 9, 1925, to Euladell and Olen Farris. After graduating from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) in 1944, she began a career in Oklahoma City with Oklahoma Natural Gas. Shortly thereafter, at the invitation of a girlfriend, Betty attended a USO dance at the Naval Air Station in Norman, a few miles south of Oklahoma City, and met her husband-to-be William E. (Bill) Clifton. They were married on September 1, 1945, and were married for 66 years, until Bill’s death in May, 2012.

Betty and Bill moved to Sun Lakes in 1989 following her retirement from Haysville State Bank, Haysville, Kansas, and Bill’s retirement from Boeing in Wichita. They were members of Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, and Betty was an active member of a local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. They both enjoyed playing golf and bridge and socializing with the many friends and neighbors they met in Sun Lakes. For several years, they also enjoyed spending their summers in Dewey, Arizona.

Betty loved reading and also was a prolific quilter. She enjoyed cross-stitching and many other needlework skills. As long as she was able, she created and donated many craft projects, fudge and baked goods to local Christmas bazaars.

Betty is survived by sons Terry Clifton (Sherry) of Fair Oaks, California, and Leslie Clifton (Marcia) of Oklahoma City; grandchildren Jackie Clifton and Becky Heister; one great-granddaughter, Lily Heister; a brother, Kelton Farris; and nieces Brandy (Brent) Miller and Marki (Josh) Huston.

Alvin Louis Stern

Alvin Louis Stern, 82, of Sun Lakes, AZ, passed away May 17, 2019, peacefully at home after a struggle with leukemia. After growing up in Great Neck, NY, Al attended Brown University, graduating and receiving his commission as a naval officer in 1959. After serving for three years, Al earned his J.D. degree at New York University Law School in 1965. Al started his legal career at the admiralty law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides and went on to be associated with maritime-related firms throughout his working life.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Ann (Jensen); daughters Keelan Bodow (Jonathan) and Leslie (Andrew Abramowitz); grandsons Nathan Abramowitz, Griffin and Spencer Bodow; granddaughter Molly Abramowitz. Loving brother of Eugene Stern of Dallas, TX, and Elaine Hirschhorn of Bayside, NY, as well as doting uncle of several nieces and nephews.

An outstanding athlete in high school and college, he was an ardent sports fan throughout his life. Always civic minded, Al served on the zoning board in Ardsley, NY, where the family lived for 24 years. Ann and Al then spent 20 years on Cape Cod where Al served as Board Chair of the Chatham (MA) Council on Aging. Al was also an active alumnus of Brown and served as President of the Brown Club of Cape Cod.

A memorial service will be held on Long Island, NY, this summer. To honor Al’s memory, donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley:, Lymphoma and Leukemia Society:, Labradoodle Rescue Collective:

Ronald (Ron) Weary

Ronald (Ron) Weary lived an adventurous and full 75 years. On June 8, 2019, Ron passed away unexpectedly from a brief illness. He is preceded in death by his parents Irene and Harold Weary and his in-laws Lottie and John Comai. He is survived by his wife Joyce, daughters Lauren (Brian) Cantoni and Rebecca (Paul) Johnson, and grandchildren Emma, Elizabeth, Vivian and Mitchell. He is also survived by sisters Marlys Weary and Sharon (Walter) Frucht and numerous extended family members.

Ron was born and raised in Chicago. He was the youngest of three children and very much looked up to his older sisters. He attended Luther South High School, later graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University (Phi Kappa Psi) in 1966. He was immediately hired by Ford Motor Company, where he enjoyed a long, successful career.

Ron met Joyce in 1966, and they were married in December, 1968. They raised two daughters and enjoyed sharing the world with them on family vacations. In between family time and work, you could find Ron behind the blocks timing for swim meets or working out at Farmington Glen Aquatic Club, worshipping at St. John Lutheran Church, tinkering around the house or jogging around town.

Ron retired from Ford Motor Company in 1996 at the age of 52. He spent the next several years becoming a Ford historian (“Fordophile”) and volunteering at the Henry Ford Fair Lane Estate. In 2003, Ron and Joyce started their next adventure, moving to Sun Lakes, Arizona, where Lauren and Brian had settled. His passion for fitness continued in Arizona; he enjoyed being a Hike Leader for the Sun Lakes Hiking Club, even hiking rim-to-rim on the Grand Canyon multiple times. He was an active member and lecturer within his local SAE chapter, fueling his love for learning and engineering. And while he certainly had a life rich with interests, nothing surpassed his love for his four grandchildren. He was actively involved in their lives and was their biggest fan.

Ron and Joyce enjoyed traveling together, including celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in the Hawaiian Islands with their two daughters and their families last summer. Ron and Joyce’s last international trip was to the Galapagos Islands, where he thoroughly enjoyed photographing boobies (aka, Blue-Footed Boobies). Note: Ron had a corny sense of humor, and we know he would have appreciated this joke and would be laughing… we hope you got a chuckle as well.

Thank you, Ron/Dad, for being a fantastic example of a life well-lived. We love you!

A private service has been held for the immediate family. Memorial Services to celebrate his life will be in August (Arizona) and in September (Michigan). In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Esperanza Lutheran Church (2601 E. Thunderhill Place, Phoenix, AZ 85048), The Clara and Henry Ford Estate-Fair Lane (c/o Historic Ford Estates, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Gross Pointe Shores, MI 48236) and The Hesse Learning Resource Center (Gellerson Hall, College of Engineering, 1900 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383 – make checks out to Valparaiso University College of Engineering and note Hesse Resource Center in memo).