Clifford Paul Matherne
by Ray Matherne
Born April 15, 1914
Married January 25, 1941
to Hazel A. Brown
Died July 9, 2002
††††††††††† Clifford was the second born of four sons born to Anatole and Manilia Matherne.† When his oldest brother, Nolan, was sent to stay with his Grandpa Dack to help in the fields, Clifford assumed all the responsibilities of helping with his fatherís work at home.† Clifford was the only son old enough remaining in the household to help with the work around the house at the time.† He missed so much school with his new responsibilities helping his daddy that he had to repeat a grade that year.
††††††††††† Clifford was always willing to give a helping hand.† A small civilian plane crashed into the woods nearby his home.† Clifford pried apart the jammed door on the plane to rescue two women inside.† On another occasion, the church bell had ceased to function.† So Clifford climbed into the belfry and restored the bellís balance so the community could once again hear its welcome sound.†
††††††††††† After graduation from high school, Clifford joined the Marines.† At a time while his detachment was in Panama and a little physical activity was needed, it was decided that there would be a contest to see who would be champion coconut tree climber.† Clifford won the metal.†† He could climb any tree that he could girth with his hands.† As a Marine, he had the honor of being one of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.††† When he returned from the Marines, he married Hazel Brown, and the couple moved to Maryland, where Clifford worked as a welder in a shipyard.
††††††††††† Clifford and Hazel only stayed in Maryland for a short time, and soon returned to French Settlement.† Upon his return home, he was drafted into the service for World War II, following Japanís attack on Pearl Harbor, and sent to Vallejo, California.† There he served as a welder supervisor in the shipyards for the Armed Forces.†
Following his years of dedicated service in World War II, he finally returned home to French Settlement, where he spent the following years driving a college bus and working as a carpenter and farmer.† Many friends and family members were bestowed with the fruit of his labor in his garden.††
Clifford died in July of 2002 in his home, built from timbers he cut and milled from the land where he lived most of his life.† Those that knew him remember him for his genuine generosity and joyfulness of spirit.