A father’s love and devotion...
While a student at Tuskegee Institute, Cliff met and later married Louise Fitzpatrick. From this union, two children were born, Deborah A. Herron and Jeffrey L. Herron. From the time his children were born. Cliff was always a loving, giving, supportive, and devoted father. His children were the “apples of his eyes”. It was evident through his conversations and actions that his children were a great source of fulfillment and joy in his life. He loved to encourage them to view the world not in terms of black and white, but in a way that would enable them to grow and to develop into compassionate and kindhearted human beings. Without a doubt, Cliff had a special bond with his children. One of his favorite pastimes was teaching his daughter how to cook because he considered himself “the cooking and baking connoisseur” and love to brag about his recipes and methodology. He took great pleasure in spending time with his children and quizzing them on current events, history, biblical teachings, his favorite football teams (Dallas Cowboys and Ohio State Buckeyes) and vocabulary. He loved to DEBATE! His children as well as his friends were subject to his self-proclaimed expertise in all areas. We all loved him so much for it! Words really can not express the kind of father he was to his children. He was so much more and always went well beyond typical fatherhood. He was divinely placed in the lives of Debbie and Jeff. They are so thankful to God for the gift he gave them.
There is no secret that Cliff was a very private person. Yet, over the years he developed so many lasting and treasured personal and professional relationships. To really know Cliff was to love him. He was a warm and loyal friend to many of those who knew him. Because he embodied noble qualities and such a warm and kind spirit, he touched and enriched the lives of others both, far and near. With his infectious personality, humorous and charming ways, he was an unforgettable presence. Even when he made you mad, you could not stay mad at him for long. It was just something about him that made you like and value you him even more. Perhaps, at the end of the day many recognized that they had found a “true friend” in Cliff.
He always operated under the principle of giving more than receiving up until his death and that is the manner in which he led his life. He did for others so much more than he gave to himself Material possessions were of little concern to him, relationships with others were much more valuable and indeed, it showed.
II Timothy 4: 6-7
“For I am now ready to be offered,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course.
I have kept the faith."
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In Loving Memory of...
Clifford James Herron
Sunrise: January 28, 1942
Sunset: November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 27, 2006 11:00 a.m.
Bethel A.M.E. Church
1300 Druid Hill Avenue Baltimore, MD
Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid III, Pastor
Interment: Maryland Veterans Cemetery
11301 Crain Highway Cheltenham, MD
Clifford James Herron
“To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
As it was in the beginning...
Cliff was born on January 28, 1942 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to the late Charles Herron and Elizabeth Morris Spencer. He was the only child out of this marital union. His grandmother Pearl played a significant role in his upbringing and throughout the course of his life, until her death.
He received his early education through the Okmulgee Public School System. In 1961, Cliff received his high school diploma from Dunbar High School. During his school- aged years he excelled in sports, band, and academia. He played on the varsity basketball team and played the trumpet in his high school band. It was his membership in the 4-H club and his love for animals (sheep, chickens, and rabbits that were frequent guests in Grandma Pearl’s backyard) that led to a sincere interest and fascination with agricultural sciences. It was this early passion that would later prove to be instrumental in Cliff becoming an advocate and strong influential force in addressing the challenges faced by rural black farmers in the southern regions.
In high school, his peers nicknamed him “Stiff’ due to a neck problem. He took great pleasure in practical jokes and pranks as a youngster. Cliff would manage to find creative ways to amuse himself and his bosom buddies. He enjoyed the “simple things” in life such as sitting on the back porch at his grandma’s house eating tomato sandwiches and buffer rolls. He would later tell funny stories to friends and family of making his way down to the local movie theatre where his Uncle Curtis worked. After helping him, Cliff would sit in the balcony “Colored Section Only” enjoying his movies with overly- saturated buttered popcorn. Racism, discrimination, and poverty never hindered him from enjoying his life. It only made him appreciate what God had given him even more.
In the pursuit of higher learning and career...
After graduating from high school, Cliff enrolled at Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college located in Tuskegee, Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington. In 1965, Cliff was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. He earned a Masters of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences in 1971 from Tuskegee Institute (which later became Tuskegee University).
On April 5, 1967, Cliff enrolled in the United States Army as Private (P) E-l and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, birthplace of his first born child Deborah. In 1969, he received an honorable discharge and resumed his studies. For the next several years, he participated in the US Air Reserve in Alabama.
Cliff continued his educational journey by enrolling at Ohio State University “Home of the Buckeyes” located in Columbus, Ohio where he received his Doctorate Degree in 1981, in Agricultural Education.
His professional career began at East Alabama Cooperative Housing located in Auburn, Alabama in the early 1970’s. In 1978, he moved to Washington, D. C., and secured a position at the Farmers Home Administration as a Senior Loan Specialist. For 28 years, he held several positions and retired January of 2006 as Deputy Director of the Outreach Staff Farm Service Agency (United States Department of Agriculture).
During his federal government service, Cliff was the recipient of many significant awards, certificates of appreciations, and honors for his contributions and role in land grant developments, publications, small farmer conferences, farmer advocacy, and rural communities. Among the awards Cliff received were the T.M Campbell Leadership Award, FHMA Black Minority Organization Award, and Tuskegee Professional Agricultural Workers Conference Award. Recently he was awarded the 2006 George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to farmers and public service. In addition, he served as President of the Black Minority Employee Organization.
Cliff was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He served in both the Alpha Nu Lambda and Kappa Phi Lambda Chapters.
Walking in the Spirit....
Cliff received his Christian principles at an early age. He attended A.M.E. Methodist Church in his hometown of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He recommitted his life to Christ when he joined Bethel A.M. E. Church. His renewed commitment was evident through the way in which he moved through the structural world, always serving others, illuminating godly values and qualities, fellowshipping with other believers, and encouraging non-believers.
The intense focus of his life became that of living righteously. Mediating on the word both day and night was one of his favorite pastimes. He spent hours listening and studying the teachings of Pastors Frank Reid, Charles Stanley, Fred Price, John Cherry and others. The evidence of his faith and his value system was seen in the numerous bibles, tapes, books, and CD’s that were gathered around his living space. Every night at 7:30 p.m. he would spend significant time reading the word of God or listening to a true believer’s teachings on video or audio. He attended church, bible study, and other services faithfully.
Cliff absolutely loved his Pastor, Dr. Rev. Frank. M. Reid and his Bethel A.M. E. Church family. He was faithful in his service to his church and was praised for his special ministry and commitment to sick and shut-in church members. He never boasted nor did he seek accolades for what genuinely came from his heart. He was truly a “Man of God”. His faith was strong, deep-rooted and unwavering.