Ethel Jane 'Janie' Clifton, devout churchwoman
Ethel Jane Clifton, 74, beloved wife of William Donald Clifton, died at home Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, surrounded by the love of her husband, children and family. Janie spent her life caring for her family, caring for others and serving God. Janie and Donald shared a lifetime of love together in a marriage of 57 years.
A lifelong resident of Milton, Janie had many childhood memories of growing up on Chestnut Street. She attended Milton Consolidated School and later worked at Scott’s restaurant in the Milton Theatre where she first met Donald, her husband to be.
Janie’s family will remember her for the constant watch she kept over them, the unconditional love she shared with them, her example of selflessness and her love of Christ. Always putting others before herself Janie served the community and the Lord through many positions in the Slaughter Neck United Methodist Church. She served as Sunday school teacher to the youth for many years. Janie also served as president and was a member of the United Methodist Women. One of the special periods in her life was when she restarted and directed the youth choir in the early 1980s. The love, discipline, and especially the patience with which she directed the choir will long be remembered.
Janie felt a special calling for helping the church help those in need in the local community. She served for many years as the steward of the church mission fund, communion steward and was a member of the Chesapeake Walk to Emmaus. She also served as steward of the Angel Tree program through which children of incarcerated parents are provided with Christmas presents.
Janie Clifton is survived by her husband W. Donald Clifton; son William Donald Clifton II and wife Ruth; son Derek Ray Clifton and wife Kristin; daughter Sharon Clifton Stevens and husband Jay; and son Darrell Mitchell Clifton and wife Kim. Surviving grandchildren are William “Bill” Carlton Clifton II, Rebecca Clarke Clifton and husband Lance Hansen, Lucas Paige Clifton, Mary Emily Ziegler and husband Joe, Sara Jane Antonis and husband Steve, John Anthony Clifton, Patrick Donald Clifton, Jacob Solomon Clifton, Noah Samuel Clifton, Levi Daniel Clifton, Benjamin David Clifton, Jayne Marie Stevens, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dawn Stevens, Seth Michael Stevens, Ashley Brooke Clifton and Dawson Porter Clifton. Surviving great-grandchildren are Calvin David Ziegler and Daphne Cecelia Ziegler. She is also survived by Mother Ruby Alice Passwaters; sister Jean Walker; brother Robert “Bob” Passwaters; sister Kelly Pettyjohn; and half-brothers Raymond Bennett and Herschel Bennett.
Janie is preceded in death by her second born son, David Brooks Clifton; her father Raymond Passwaters; brother Richard “Dick” Passwaters; half-brothers Edward Bennett and Freeman Bennett; and half-sister Arlene Reeves.
A visitation will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Slaughter Neck U.M. Church, 23221 Argo’s Corner Road, Milford. Funeral services will be held Sunday, Nov. 3, at 1:30 p.m. at the church. Interment will be in Slaughter Neck Cemetery, Milford.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Slaughter Neck UMC, Mission Fund, 10266 Coastal Highway, Milford DE 19963.
Arrangements handled by Short Funeral Services, Milton.