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William Bill Clifford
Submitted by Jim Bierman on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 4:55pm
William “Bill” Clifford, age 70 of Northfield, passed away peacefully at his home, Monday, May 07, 2012 surrounded by his loving family. Bill lived his life with great enthusiasm and courage despite a long struggle with Multiple Myeloma. Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Friday, May 11th at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield with burial at the Clifford family plot at Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 10th from 4 to 8 pm at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and on Friday one hour prior to the funeral at the church.
Bill, the son of Edwin and Phyllis (Grisim) Clifford, was born on July 11, 1941 in Northfield. Bill’s parents lived on a farm east of Northfield where Bill was raised and helped his father along with his two younger brothers, Dick and Jerry. In the spring of 1955, Bill’s family moved to a farm west of West Concord where he attended high school. Bill was involved in 4-H where he showed Holstein cattle. He belonged to the Boy Scouts, played basketball and was a member of the football team.
After graduation, Bill attended the University of Minnesota for two years studying agriculture. Bill then served in the Army followed by 5 ½ years with the Army Reserves. In 1961, Bill married Karen Martig (they later divorced). At this time he acquired a dairy herd and became a dairy farmer. Bill and Karen had two children Shari and Keith. Bill worked with his father in planting and harvesting the crops. Bill left farming and took courses on the meat business and buying livestock. His first job after this was with Farmbest Foods which took him and his family to Dennison, Iowa. Later he managed buying locations in Lake City, Iowa and Oakland, Nebraska. A few years later, Bill took a job with Hormel Foods in Austin, Minnesota and later in Mallard, Iowa.
In 1972, Bill purchased the Waterford Oil Company and he and his family moved back to Northfield. In 1978, he opened his first Casey’s General Store in Lonsdale. This was the start of his career as an entrepreneur. Over the years he’s been involved in many businesses: convenience stores, bulk oil, charter airline, limousine service, car wash, laundry, and rental properties. In many of these endeavors Bill mentored young people and helped them get their start.
In 1988, Bill purchased a cabin on Gull Lake, where family and friends have gathered and enjoyed many good times. Bill spent several winters in Naples, Florida loving the sunshine and his many good friends. He enjoyed golfing, boating, and being very creative; built houses, remodeled homes, made furniture, and many other woodworking and stained glass projects.
Bill is survived by his two children, Shari (Al) Wadleigh of Northfield, Keith Clifford of Burnsville, 5 loving granddaughters, Cassie Clifford, Alex Clifford, Laura Wadleigh, Rachel Wadleigh and Randie Clifford, two brothers, Dick (Melanie) Clifford of Maple Grove and Jerry Clifford of Edina and many relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral arrangements are by the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield.