A funeral service was held for Wilmer “Eli” Clifton, 81. of Canton, on Friday, July 21, 2022, at Lakeside Baptist Church under the direction of Eubank Funeral Home, with Bro. Carlton Young officiating.
Eli went home to the Lord on July 17, 2022, in Tyler. He was born on October 10, 1940, in Jacksonville, Texas, to Jacob Eli Clifton and Willie Mae Jones Clifton.
Eli grew up in Rusk and graduated from Rusk High School. He enlisted in the Army and later moved over to the Army National Guard, where he served and retired after 20 years as a Master Sergeant.
On March 1, 1963, he married his one true love, Vicky Robinson. The couple built a wonderful life and had 59 beautiful years together. Eli was a deacon and faithful member of Lakeside Baptist Church, where he worked in the Children’s Ministry, security, as an Awana Leader and helped many children in the Awana Pine Wood Derby. Eli was a Christ follower and had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He served as a Gideon and loved to talk to people about the Lord and share his faith, Eli would stop and talk to strangers in check-out lines, elevators, and doctor’s offices to ask if they knew Jesus and invite them to church. Eli enjoyed woodworking, working on cars, driving his tractor, being outside and spending time with family. When it came to handiwork, he could do just about anything, and do it with excellence. Eli was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Eli is preceded in death by his parents, Jacob Eli and Willie Mae Clifton; brother, Trevor Gordon Clifton, and sister, Ruth Mathews.
He is survived by his loving wife, Vicky Clifton; daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Andy Reese; daughter and son-in-law, Cherri and Mark McIlheran; son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Julie Clifton; 13 grandchildren: Elizabeth McIlheran; Hannah McIlheran; Madeleine Dorn; Regan Morales; Emma Novacovici; Sarah Clifton; Gilliam McIlheran; Harry Reese; Violet McIlheran; Rebekah Clifton; Eli Clifton; John McIlheran; Charlotte McIlheran; great-grandchildren, Eloise Stuart and Isla; brother and sister-in-law, Shaw and Sherry Clifton.
A Committal service was held at the DFW National Cemetery on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.