Clifton B. Rock of Cheney, Wash., passed away peacefully at the Spokane Hospice House April 21, 2013. Clif was born April 30, 1922, the son of Oliver and Hannah (Brown) Rock of Beverly, Mass. He grew up in the Ryal Side neighborhood of Beverly, attended local schools and graduated from Beverly High School in 1939.
Clif enlisted in the Army Air Force in March 1944 and trained as a crewman on B-29 heavy bombers. He was stationed on Tinian Island in the Southwest Pacific Theater for eight months, participating in air offensive missions over Japan. Clif’s last combat mission was flying escort for the Enola Gay.
After being discharged from the Army in January 1946, Clif was employed by Sylvania Electric Co. and began taking college courses. During that period he met Eleanor Grace Hathaway of Beverly, whom he married on July 19, 1948. They continued living in Beverly while building a new home in the nearby town of Boxford, Mass.
In 1953 they moved to Boxford where Eleanor became town librarian while Clif continued his work at Sylvania and college studies. Following graduation with a bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State College, Clif became a dedicated educator. He initially taught mathematics at Peabody High School. With the founding of North Shore Community College in Beverly, Clif joined the faculty and taught classes in pre-engineering. His career at NSCC was long and distinguished, retiring as professor emeritus.
The Rocks moved to Cheney in 1995 to be near family members living there. A long-time gardener, Clif became active in the Gardeners of Cheney, donating vegetables and volunteering at the local food bank. He also volunteered at the Cheney recycling center. Both Clif and Eleanor were long-time members of the Spokane Interplayers Theatre and also supporters of the theater, art and music departments at Eastern Washington University.
Clif had no children and was predeceased by his wife of 64 years. Internment will be in the Washington State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 3 p.m. at United Church of Christ in Cheney, 423 N. Sixth St.