BANGOR - Elizabeth "Betty" C. Schreiner Clifford, 93, passed away at her residence on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was born in Regina, Saskatchewan on July 16, 1921, one of 14 children born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Matthias Schreiner.
She attended schools in Regina, graduating from Commercial High School with a Business Diploma in 1939. Betty's young adult life was filled with innumerable athletic accomplishments. She was a provincial speed skating champion and was a member of the women's provincial basketball champion basketball team for two years. Additionally, Betty was an accomplished tennis player having won several tournaments, including being runner-up in the Regina Tennis Championships. However, her biggest thrill was playing first base for the Regina Caps softball team that won the provincial championship and went on to win the Western Canadian Series which allowed her to meet Viscount Montgomery.
As an adult, Betty continued her pursuit of athletics. She was an accomplished skier and continued her tennis playing as well as badminton, entering tournaments all over Canada and indeed, wherever she lived including winning tournaments in Jamaica and Hawaii. Later in life, she picked up golf and developed a passion for it, playing any chance she could and becoming a very good player. In addition to achieving a hole-in-one when she was 64 years old at Martindale Country Club, Betty volunteered at different PGA Tour events in New England and Florida. Her passion for athletics was genuine and was passed onto her children and grandchildren who excelled at dance, soccer, basketball, softball and baseball.
Betty and her family enjoyed music. Many in her family were musicians, but Betty's instrument was her voice. From childhood right through to her death, Betty enjoyed singing and music. She sang in numerous church choirs during her lifetime wherever she lived. When not in a choir, she loved to attend Mass and sit near the front to proclaim the Word and her faith in song to all. One always knew Betty was driving down the road as her "Sing On" vanity plate both gave her and her passion for music away.
At a young age, Betty developed a passion for travel that allowed her to see many parts of the world. Working primarily as a private secretary, she lived and worked in Vancouver for 6 years, then moved to Jamaica for a year working for the Government Trade Commissioner of Canada. After her time in Jamaica, Betty moved to Florida for 6 months and then to Hawaii for a year during which she had the pleasure of playing tennis with celebrities such as Jinx Falkenburg. After her time in Florida, Betty moved to California and lived with her sister for a time before finally returning to Regina to work for Shell Oil. While employed for Shell Oil, she became President of the Desk and Derrick Club.
However, after a short time, Betty's wanderlust kicked in again and it was off to Banff, Alberta to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in the Golf Pro Shop. After a time, the hotel closed, Betty moved to Ottawa to work as a private secretary at the House of Commons for Regina's Member of Parliament. It was during a break from work that Betty went on a ski vacation, she met a strapping young man from Lewiston, Maine named Jere Clifford. After a whirlwind romance and mostly long distance relationship, Betty and Jere were married in Regina, Saskatchewan on November 29, 1958.
During her lifetime in Lewiston, Betty continued her passion for sports and was very involved with the community, singing in church choirs, being a member of the CMMC Women's Hospital Association, St. Mary's Patroness, as well as volunteering at both Lewiston hospitals, United Fund, Charity Ball, and as Campaign Chairman for Community Concerts. Betty was one of the founding members of John F. Murphy Homes and was a lifelong member of Martindale Country Club.
Betty adored her children and grandchildren. She looked forward to visits with them and indeed, Betty attended as many games, concerts and school events as she possibly could, loudly and vociferously cheering them on and being effusive in her praise.
Betty was predeceased by her loving and devoted husband, Jere and all her siblings except Kay (Schreiner) Monaghan.
She is survived by her daughter, Anna Marie, her husband, Randy, and their children, Sahra, Briana, and Matthew; daughter, Alice, her husband, Terence, and their children, Liam and Maeve; and, her son, Douglas and his partner, Brandy.
The Family of Betty Clifford would like to thank the staff of Winterberry Heights in Bangor for the care, love and compassion they gave to Betty and her family during the last three years of her life. Though the last weeks were difficult, Betty really and truly came to appreciate Winterberry Heights as her home and its residents and staff as family.
A Funeral Mass honoring Betty's life will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Holy Family Church. Committal services will then follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Betty's last wish was that a donation be made to the charity of your choice in her name. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. at the Pinette Dillingham & Lynch Funeral Home, 305 Alfred A. Plourde Parkway, Lewiston 784-4023. Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at www.lynchbrothers.com.