Mr. Winston Clifton, 78, of Charleston, SC, formerly of Barbourville, passed away Monday morning, March 22, 2021 at the Roper Hospice Cottage. He was the son of the late Dr. Wilburn Parker Clifton and Elizabeth “Mickie” McGuire Clifton born on November 30, 1942 in Louisville.
Winston was named for Winston Churchill, who he shared a birthday and also his mother’s favorite president, Franklin Roosevelt. While Winston did not share his mother’s political leanings, he did appreciate that his name was always a conversation starter. He grew up on Sycamore Street, whereby the testimony of his lifelong friend, Susan Slusher, they “played hide and seek, built playhouses, watched frogs lay eggs and tadpoles wiggle and grow or were swinging from someone’s garage roof to the ground on a long limb of a tree.” It was an idyllic childhood that only Barbourville could provide.
He attended Centre College, the alma mater of his brother, Mack, and daughter, Elizabeth, as well as the current school of his granddaughter, Erin O’Leary. He was also a 1966 graduate of Union College – always the hometown boy, he was proud of his Union degree.
Winston was a retired State of Kentucky employee and a member of the Barbourville First United Methodist Church. He was probably best known as an avid UK sports fan. You could pick out his bass voice chanting “Go Big Blue” at games and family gatherings. He was rarely seen without his attire accented by the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
A highlight of his life, on December 13, 1967, he married Patricia Perros, an artist and Danville gal, and maybe the only person able to surpass his magnanimous nature. To this union one daughter was born, Elizabeth, known as Liz, always the apple of his eye.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, James “Mack” Clifton, Wilburn P. Clifton II and Daniel Seymore Clifton and a grandson, Dermot McGuire O’Leary. We know they are there with him.
Survivors include his daughter, Elizabeth McGuire Clifton O’Leary and husband, Patrick, of Charleston, SC; a brother, Charles “Charlie” Randall Clifton and wife, Susan, of Ft. Thomas; his beloved grandchildren, Erin Grace O’Leary and Declan Patrick O’Leary; among many other loved ones and dear friends.
His funeral service will be conducted in the chapel of the Knox Funeral Home Thursday, April 1 at 2 P.M. with Rev. James Laiben officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Barbourville Cemetery.
Casket bearers will be family and friends.
Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday after 12 Noon until the funeral hour.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Knox Funeral Home.
To view the funeral service please use the following link: https://vimeo.com/531965840
Please remember, during the continuing COVID-19 event, capacity restrictions, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings as mandated by the Governor of Kentucky will be followed during all services. We appreciate your help with these guidelines so we can continue to serve our community during these trying times in the safest manner possible.