Betty Clifford

Betty Alice Clifford, 82, passed away on May 27, 2012, at her home in Vermillion.  A memorial service was held at United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., with Pastor Rick Pittenger officiating.


Betty was born on May 25, 1930, in Beaver, OK, to Coy and Opal (Smith) Gregory.  She graduated from Beaver High School in Oklahoma and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Denver.

She married Sylvester Clifford on June 10, 1949, and they remained happily married for more than 60 years. Betty and Sylvester taught school in Kansas until they moved to Vermillion in 1961. While in Vermillion, Betty was a graphic artist at the Ed Media Center at the University of South Dakota for several years.

In addition to her work as an artist, she was a loving mother and wife, and was active in her community, participating in the Garden Club, U.S.D. Faculty Women's Club, the Vermillion Area Arts Council, PEO, League of Women Voters and Zeta Phi Eta.  She was also an active member of the United Methodist Church in Vermillion, serving on numerous committees.

Survivors include her husband, Sylvester Clifford of Vermillion; her daughter, Opal Alice Clifford Karpal of Oceanside, CA; her brother, Billy Dean (Doretta) Gregory of Elkhart, KS; her sister, Karen Sue (Rolf) Cook of Clearmont, MO; her grandchildren, Jennica (Josh) Ulibarri of Oceanside, CA, Carmen Clifford of Coroapolis, PA, Adam Clifford of Greeley, CO, Brandy (Jeremy) Lees of Wheatridge, CO; her great-granddaughters, Alanna Ulibarri, Kira Ulibarri, Janica Lees, and Marissa Lees.

She was preceded in death by her sons, David William Clifford, and Bradford William Clifford; her parents, Coy and Opal Gregory; and her sister, Mary Anne Gregory Butts.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to United Methodist Women of Vermillion, the Vermillion Area Arts Council, or Zeta Phi Eta.

Services have been entrusted to Kober Funeral Home of Vermillion.

Condolences may be posted online at

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