Clifford Whitfield

Obituary of Clifford Henry Whitfield

Clifford Henry Whitfield, our rock of a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away September 13, 2019, at The Brook in Big Rapids. A memorial celebration of his life will be held September 28that 3:00 pm, at the Castle in Canadian Lakes. 


Cliff was born May 28, 1936, in Royal Oak, MI, the son of Emerson and Ivy (Hopps) Whitfield. He married the love of his life, Charlotte Waters on August 25, 1956, and together the two grew their family to include four sons, four daughters-in-law, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He entered the University of Michigan like his brothers before him and became a diehard fan. Go Blue! After leaving to start a family, he fulfilled a promise to his mother and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University several years later.


Cliff was a quiet, yet strong presence who led by the example he set for others. If someone needed advice they would often seek him out, knowing how logical he always was. He was a great listener, very compassionate, and thankful of the woman he married and spent 63 beautiful years with. Family was the most important thing in life to Cliff, and it showed through his commitment to his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was an involved parent, and grandparent, never missing any special events. Wanting to give back, Cliff was on numerous boards and committees throughout his life, including being Chairman of Christian Education at Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Royal Oak, chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, President of the Chippewa Hills Athletic Boosters and CLA Board in Canadian Lakes. Cliff retired from Hitachi Magnetics in 1996 as Manager of Information Systems, and in semi-retirement was an Instructor in the computer science department at Ferris State University. 


Cliff enjoyed golfing, playing table tennis (West Quad champion at U of M), and watching his kids and grandkids play sports. He was an observer, a quiet, sound answer to any question, and an ear to listen when needed; but he never climbed a ladder any higher than he had to. 


Left to cherish Cliff’s memory are his loving wife, Charlotte; four sons, Mark (Robin), Donald (Melissa), Paul (Cheryl), Brian (LeaAnna) 
Whitfield; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Quinton) Nabors, Adam (Kylie) Whitfield, Casey (Alexa) Whitfield, Sydney (Anthony) Sutliff, Kristi (Evan Field) Whitfield, Ryan Whitfield, Jason Whitfield, Emerson Whitfield, and Kinsey Whitfield; three great-grandchildren, Wesley Clifford and Eleanor Nabors, and Charlotte Ann Whitfield.

His parents, and two brothers, Emerson Charles (Chuck) and Russell Lee Whitfield, preceded him in death.


The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the “Team Fox” Parkinson’s Foundation at Donation Processing, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014,or to Spectrum Health Foundation, 100 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, in Memory of Cliff.       

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Celebration Of Life Memorial

3:00 pm
Saturday, September 28, 2019
The Castle
Pere Marquette Dr.
Canadian Lakes, Michigan, United States
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