Clifford Willis, 82, of Safford entered into rest Oct. 3, 2012. He was born Dec. 28, 1929, in Clifton to Mid Gatlin and Geneva Wyatt Gatlin.  He was later adopted by his stepfather, O.B. Willis.

As a young man, Clifford joined the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War in the Army Signal Corps responsible for command communications on the Korean peninsula. Upon his return, he attended Northrop Aeronautical Institute, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He worked both in California and Arizona as a construction superintendent. Clifford was a member of the Baptist Church and the American Legion.

He deeply loved his wife, his children and his grandchildren and was very proud of his early Arizona ranching heritage, which included the Filleman and Gatlin families.  He was a “rockhound” and noted for his fire agate and turquoise stones from which he produced high-quality jewelry in both gold and silver. He was also a gold miner and has been involved in mining activities in both Arizona and Africa.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Charles Gatlin; and his sister, Geneva Mae Willis.

Clifford is survived by his wife of 56 years, Bobbie Willis; his sons, Cliff (Monica) Willis and Craig (Cammie) Willis; his sister, Pat Willis; and brother, Brice (Carol) Willis Jr.; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, along with his numerous friends and relatives who have been so devoted to him during his illness.

Services for Clifford will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel beginning with a visitation at 4 p.m. and followed by a memorial service at 5 p.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel.

Online condolences may be given at

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