Eloise Lanier Clifton, 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday, February 4, 2022.
A celebration of Eloise’s life and Graveside Service will take place on Friday, February 11 at 1:00 PM at Piney Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Visitation with family and friends will be held immediately following the service at the cemetery. Those who wish to honor Eloise may make a donation in her memory to Piney Grove Baptist Church, 1818 N McCullen Road, Faison, NC 28341.
Eloise was born in Warsaw, North Carolina and attended Warsaw High School where she played on the basketball team and developed a lifelong passion for the sport. She loved her ACC teams! Eloise met Francis, the love of her life, at a local gathering spot called Taylor’s Pond and the two married in 1953. They settled near the Clifton family farm and worked for many years as they raised their 3 girls. She recognized the importance of education and went back to Sampson Community college to get her associates degree later in life. Afterwards, she found a career in several administrative roles, including with the Sampson County Health Department, where she retired after 20 years. Eloise was a doting grandmother, first to Paige and Mackenzie. Later in her retirement, she and Francis kept the road hot to Richmond, never missing an important game, recital, or birthday for William, Audrey, and Faith. Eloise was a devoted wife of 65 years, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend to all that crossed her path. She never met a stranger, always saw the best in others, and possessed a special ability to make people feel seen and known.
Eloise was a faithful member of Piney Grove Baptist Church where she took on many roles including Youth Sunday School teacher, Church Clerk, WMU Treasurer/Secretary, Special Events Committee, Eastern Baptist Association Prayer Team, and the New Mexico Missions Trip Team. Her love for Christ was evident throughout her life and she loved her church family as her own. Eloise regularly sent out dozens of cards with handwritten messages to friends and family reminding them they were loved by both her and the Lord. Her “card ministry” as it became known continued even when she could no longer purchase them herself, and she routinely requested they be brought to her at Rolling Ridge. All that received one (or many) of these special notes can attest to the warmth they evoked. Eloise was a member of the Tea Party Ladies, the local chapter of the Red Hat Society and served many years as Communicator. Her RH Sisters became extended family in later years, and their eccentric dress and personalities brought love, laughter, and joy to so many people. We can all learn a lesson from these ladies – life is too short not to eat poundcake for breakfast!
She is survived by her children, Sandra Kay Clifton (Gene), Renee Clifton Simopoulos (Ernie), and Barbara Clifton Wood (Art); grandchildren, William Francis Simopoulos, Audrey Lanier Simopoulos, Sarah Faith Wood, Taylor Paige McCullen (Ben), and Tara Mackenzie Parrish (Will); and 4 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-laws, Barbara Clifton and Teresa Clifton as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Eloise was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Francis Highsmith Clifton; her parents, Maurey Ward Lanier and Flossie May Lanier; brothers Edwin Ward Lanier and Donald Rex Lanier; and sister, Barbara Ann Lanier Anderson.
The family would like to thank the many special people that loved and cared for Eloise in her last months. A special thank you to Janice Hering for her amazing care and support.
Royal-Hall Funeral Home is honored to serve the Clifton Family.
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