Clifford Earl Senior, 91, of Newport, RI passed away peacefully at Newport Hospital on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Mr. Senior was born on January 1, 1926 to the late Elmer and Harriet Streeter Senior in the homestead of his paternal grandparents in Beaver Falls, PA. When he was 4 years old he moved to his Mother’s home town of Newport, RI, where he remained until he joined the Merchant Marines (at the age of 17) followed by his enlistment in the US Army Engineers from 1945-1947.
After his enlistment ended Cliff married the love of his life, Mary Joan McCarthy. They lived in various towns in NY while Cliff continued his education. In 1961 he found his dream job at Eppley Labs in Newport as a Mechanical Draftsman. Cliff continued his employment of 56 years at Eppley’s up until September 16th of this year when he fell at home and suffered a serious injury from which he was not able to recover. At the time of his death Cliff had been working 5 days a week, 4-5 hours a day. A truly remarkable accomplishment for someone his age. He loved to go to work.
This truly amazing man was not only a loving husband to his late wife Mary, but a loving and caring father to his two children, Colette and Eric. When they were growing up, Cliff was a mentor to the neighborhood children, all of whom loved to visit Mr. Senior. He was a quiet man who had the patience of a saint.
Cliff always put the love for his family first followed by the love for his life long Church (where he was baptized), St. John the Evangelist in Newport. On Sundays Cliff could always be found at his Church helping out as an usher, vestryman, or serving in any other position where he was needed.
Besides working at his job for Eppley, Cliff and his wife Mary were part-owners of the former “Newport Pineapple” and the “Iron and Pine” in Newport’s Brick Market Place. He also enjoyed playing basketball and swimming at the YMCA even into his seventies and eighties. He was always a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Newport and other youth organizations in Newport County. In his spare time Cliff loved sailing with his son Eric on Narragansett Bay and enjoyed any water related activities. He always found time to tend to his beautiful flower gardens and work on his home, having recently completed some painting and repairs to the house.
Clifford was truly the most kind, gentle soul who loved everyone and was loved in return by everyone. In later years his grand and great grandchildren were the light of his life.
Cliff is survived by his daughter, Colette Senior Rodrigues and her husband Manny with whom he shared his home; his son Eric Clifford Senior and his wife Pia of Jamestown, his niece Michol Balus Murphy and her husband Joe of Portsmouth and their family.
He was grandfather and great grandfather to Brian Rodrigues, his wife Jamie and their children Juliana, Harley, Harper and Maisie, and to Charlie Rodrigues, Thomas Rodrigues, his wife Meredith and their children Lacey and Nora, Walter Rodrigues, his children Kaylee and Brayden and his fiancé Tracy and her children Andrew and Ella, Darrell Rodrigues and Will Rodier.
Cliff was predeceased by his loving wife of 63 years, Mary McCarthy Senior, Great Grandchildren: Brogan Clifford Rodrigues and Selena Rodrigues; his sister Audrey Senior Fish; Brother-in-law, James M. McCarthy; Sister-in-law, Laura McCarthy Balus, and Nephew, James Balus.
Visiting hours will be held in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St., Newport, RI on Monday, November 20, 2017 from 4-7pm.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at St. John the Evangelist Church, 61 Poplar St., Newport, RI, at 11 AM. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Brown’s Lane, Middletown.
Memorial donations may be made to St. John the Evangelist Church, 61 Poplar St., Newport, RI 02840.