Jay Clifton

Obituary of Jay C. Clifton

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AIKEN, SC – Jay C. Clifton, a retired United States Foreign Service Officer, passed away on February 9, 2023, in the comfort of his home in Aiken, SC, surrounded by family and friends.


Mr. Clifton was born on February 22, 1940, in San Antonio, TX. He was a son of the late Junior Cleveland and Willie Cochran Clifton. He was the eldest brother of the late Honorable William C. Clifton and the Honorable Edward C. Clifton (ret.). He attended St Peter Claver Academy in San Antonio.

At age 16, his mother and brothers moved to Los Angeles, CA.


Upon graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School, he joined the United States Air Force where he trained at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and later at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. He served in the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam.


After serving in the US Air Force for 10 years, he returned to Los Angeles to commence his College education at UCLA. Prior to fully completing his college education, he joined the United State Foreign Service, at the US Department of State, in Washington DC and began his career as a US Diplomat while continuing his education with the University of Maryland (European Division) where he earned a BA in Political Science.


His first assignment took him to Yaounde, Cameroon where he met his French wife, Michele S. Pastoret.

Mr. Clifton later served at the Embassy in Tokyo (Japan), Paris (France), Bujumbura (Burundi), Ottawa (Canada), Beirut (Lebanon), Moroni (Comoros Island), Bangui (Central African Republic), Frankfurt (Germany), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Bucharest (Romania), Conakry (Guinea), Amman (Jordan), Kabul (Afghanistan), Lisbon (Portugal), Doha (Qatar), Tallin (Estonia) and Baku (Azerbaijan).

Mr. Clifton had many hobbies but mostly enjoyed collecting trains,  playing tennis, shooting basketball, bowling and teaching his daughter the patience of archery. Jay loved to sing and dance. He was a champion Track and Field runner for the USAF and tried out for the 1968 US Olympic team.


He is survived by his wife, Michele S. Clifton, his daughter Camille Clifton, his granddaughter Sophie Howery, his brother Edward and his wife Audrey Clifton, his sister-in-law the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson, his nieces and nephews Reza, Kelly, Sarah, Willie-Ann, Michael and William.


Mr. Clifton was a kind, generous, happy gentleman and will be missed by all who have crossed his path.


A religious ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at Old Historic St. Mary Help of Christian Church, 125 Park Ave SE, Aiken, SC 29801.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Jay’s memory can be made to JoyeinAiken.com


The Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 211 Park Ave., SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803.649.6234), has charge of arrangements.

Expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting www.georgefuneralhomes.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jay Clifton, please visit Tribute Store

Requiem Mass

12:00 pm
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Old Historic St. Mary's Help of Christians Catholic Church
203 Park Ave SE
Aiken, South Carolina, United States
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Jay Clifton

In Loving Memory

Jay Clifton

1940 - 2023

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