Barbara  Clifford

Obituary of Barbara Sleath Clifford

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Barbara Sleath Clifford, of Duxbury, passed away on December 14, 2023 at the age of 86. Barbara was born March 29, 1937 to Vivian (Andy) and Marie Sleath. Beloved wife to Frederic M. Clifford. Loving Mother to Vivienne Clifford, Frederic Clifford, Jr. and his wife Gail, Haley Clifford Adams and her husband Jim, Barry Clifford, Benjamin Clifford and his wife Tricia. Cherished Grandmother to Haley Elisha, Evan Carr, Frederic Clifford III, Thomas Clifford, Benjamin Clifford Jr, Sakura Hinenoya, Nicholas Clifford, Katherine Clifford, Margaret Clifford, and Samuel Clifford. Great Grandmother to Linaea DiMarino, Madison DiMarino, Alex DiMarino, Sofia Carr, Enzo Carr and Ettore Carr. Sister to Nancy Smith, and the late Marjorie Kendall.

Born Barbara Jean Sleath in Carmel, California, her early years were spent happily living with her parents and two sisters on a small homestead. Her father was a very talented electrical engineer contracted mostly by the Navy, moving her family frequently. From California her family moved to North Carolina where she spent her college years. Barbara met Fred in Barbados, where Fred and her father Andy shared an office at the naval base, a friendship, and love of music. Barbara and Fred were married in 1962. 

Barbara was a wonderful wife, partner and best friend to her husband Fred for 61 years. She was an incredibly loving mother to her five children who adored her. She was a Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, who made each of her grandchildren feel as if they were special and the most-loved. As a life long pianist and dedicated music student, a gift that Barbara passed on to all of her children and grandchildren was a love of music.

Barbara's greatest passion was music and access to music education. She was a lead and founding member of the South Shore Conservatory and was instrumental in its expansion into Duxbury. Barbara has served as a loyal member of the Conservatory Board of Trustees for more than three decades, including as Chair from 1997-1998. During her time on the Board she championed key programs and initiatives, including the campaign for the Ellison Center for the Arts and the founding of Duxbury Music Festival, an annual event that brings together music students and performers from around the globe to perform in Duxbury for several weeks in July. She proudly served as president of the Duxbury Art Association, the Republican Women's Association and the Parish Committee of the First Parish Church. 

Barbara had a passion for reading and life-long learning. She loved studying Genealogy and she was the glue that kept her family and extended family connected. She loved to travel the world with her husband Fred to experience new cultures, people and places. 

Barbara loved being active. While raising her kids she enjoyed many years of skiing, tennis, golf, and paddle tennis. She especially loved cruising on the family yacht Merrymeeting with her family and friends. Barbara and Fred would set sail for weeks at a time with kids, friends, and a fleet of boats from the Duxbury Yacht Club, sailing locally, in Maine and the Caribbean. 

Barbara was a 61 year resident of Duxbury, Massachusetts with significant time each year residing in Pemaquid, Maine and Islamorada, Florida. 

We will truly miss your generous, kind spirit and your beautiful smile. Sail on Barbara!

A musical celebration of Barbara's life will be held on March 29th (her birthday) at the First Parish Church in Duxbury, MA at 3:00 PM; followed immediately by a reception in the Clifford room at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School. The family requests for those who wish to express sympathy, to consider making a donation in Barbara's memory to the South Shore Conservatory, Hingham MA at!/donation/checkout

A Memorial Tree was planted for Barbara
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Shepherd Funeral & Cremation Service - Kingston
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Barbara  Clifford

In Loving Memory

Barbara Clifford

1937 - 2023

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