OBITUARY: Virginia Marie ‘Ginger’ (Turner) Clifton


Virginia Marie “Ginger” (Turner) Clifton is forever at her Richard’s side, having slipped quietly from her earthly home on July 25, 2022. In her last days, she was surrounded by family and love.

Born in Atlanta, life would carry her to live in Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, California, Georgia and ultimately Tennessee. She was a lifelong ambassador for southern hospitality; welcoming, cheerful, kind, graceful and generous.

Daughter of a WWII POW, wife of a former Army captain and mother to a retired Army lieutenant colonel, she was a patriot to her core. In her teens, she drag-raced hot rods and at 80, raced wave runners with her lifelong sweetheart, Richard Rowe Clifton, Sr. They first dated at age 14 and cherished their marriage of nearly 65 years before his death 18 months prior to hers. Together they modeled love, commitment, fun and the importance of holding hands and hearts.

Ginger attended LaGrange College and worked as a secretary, though her favored profession was mothering. She loved her 3 children and their mates fiercely, and her infectious warmth brought many others to her heart for a warm meal, gentle hug, compassionate counsel or just a safe place to rest. She was her family’s greatest cheerleader.

Music was a passion, and Ginger was a toe-tapping, head-nodding singer in community choruses and church choirs most of her life. Her smile was infectious, and her joyful spirit cultivated love. Even in her last days, she answered “I’m fine!” to any who asked about her health. Ginger was a deeply treasured momma, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, shopping partner, lunch buddy and confidante who was never more than a phone call away. She loved to listen, gently guide, and only gave advice when asked. 87 years was just not enough of Ginger for this world.

She is survived by her daughter, Tamara Clifton Lister and husband Mike; sons, LTC Rick Clifton US Army Retired and wife Cathy, Corky Clifton and wife Joy; grandchildren, Michael (Callie) Lister, Jr., Chad (Courtney) Lister, Seth (Samantha) Lister, Zach Clifton, Meredith Clifton, Olivia Clifton, Mattie-Gray (Zack) Clifton Smith, Sarena Clifton; a bounty of great-grandchildren, cherished sisters, brothers, cousins and friends.

The family will receive loved ones and friends at 12:00 PM on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, Franklin, TN. A memorial service will begin at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you consider a donation in honor of Virginia Clifton to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Wounded Warrior Project.



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