Feb. 11, 1959 – Aug. 31, 2018
ESSEX – Ann Clifford, wife of Robert Clifford, passed away at the VNA Respite House on Aug. 31, 2018 while giving cancer “a much needed kick in the ass.” Ann celebrated life an additional seven years thanks to the amazing team of dedicated nurses at UVM Medical Center, the staff of the chemo ward and Dr. Wong and his team in gynecological oncology. A special thanks to Nurse Kim for always being available to help in a moment’s notice. Ann passed with her loving husband at her side under the compassionate care of the staff at the respite house. During her long fight, friends and family would often forget her medical issues stating she “looks great” and acts the same, full of life. Bob stated that even as we progressed through the final stages, Ann was cheating cancer and death by looking better every day. Her beauty is unsurpassed.
Ann worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Essex and Burlington for seven years. She enjoyed her bookkeeping and being a “Jack of all trades” at Vermont Toy and Hobby with her friend Linda for 18 years.
She loved to sew, cook, paint, party, celebrate and bake (especially Christmas cookies to share with loved ones). Knitting was her escape during treatment times when she would knit hats and mittens for premature babies, newborns and other cancer patients at UVM Medical Center. Ann was extremely modest and considered her unrelenting desire to help others just a normal human trait. We knew better that she was indeed a very special woman.
Ann could not have endured her fight without the love of her life, husband Bob. His caring compassion, love and support were second to none (Ann’s words). Traveling to Jamaica, supporting her Jamaican family, fine dining, crafts, motherhood, margarita creations and playing cribbage were highlights of her life’s pleasures. Ann loved to spontaneously plan trips and vacation adventures. Whether going to Connecticut to see her sister Dee, taking Bob to a casino or going to Sweptaway in Jamaica, Ann lived every minute of every day loving life. Cancer may have hastened her departure from all that loved Ann, but it never stole a moment that could be celebrated. Ann always gave of herself selflessly “fixing” any problem anyone presented to her. This world has lost a special soul but gained multiple lights of hope and love that will burn on forever in others.
Ann is survived by her mom, Ruth Cheney, of Massachusetts; her dad, David Cheney, of Florida; daughters Kelley Garrow, husband, Reid, and granddaughter, Kiera Cruickshank; Carrie Clifford and granddaughter, Pepper; and Samantha Clifford and granddog, Storm; by her sisters Diane Barnett of Somers, Mass., Sheri Devin of Buffalo N.Y.; by her brothers Art Cheney of Massachusetts and Patrick Cheney of Saratoga, N.Y., and by many nieces and nephews.
Ann, who helped craft this obituary to ease the burden on her loved ones, leaves one final request in her memory. Simply stated: “Put down your phone, and live your life, kill them with kindness, smile and do what you love and do it often ™.”
As was Ann’s wishes, there will be no funeral, no wake and no graveside service. Ann would like all her friends, family and friends of the family to come together for a party. To break bread and raise a glass in her honor please join us at The Barn at Lang Farm, Essex, Vt. on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at 5 p.m. Dinner and appetizers, casual dress and libations will be provided.
We have set up a Facebook donation account (under Robert Clifford) for the Gynecological Oncology Department at the UVM Medical Center to continue the fight against cancer. Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County. To send online condolences to her family, please visit www.cremationsocietycc.com.