In memory of
Sophia Ann Mize Clifford of Mountain Brook was 87 when she passed on Monday February 4th, 2019. The daughter of Annie Lewis and Curtis Eugene Mize of Central Park and younger sister of Gene Mize. She wed the one true love of her life, Wesley Bryant (Pete) Clifford, on August 2nd, 1952 at Central Park Methodist Church. They were married for 61 wonderful years. Sophia graduated from Ensley High School, obtained a BS in chemistry and a minor in music from Birmingham Southern College. She later obtained a master's degree from the Univ. of Georgia. Sophia then began her 50-year career teaching high school physics and chemistry. She taught at a number of schools, but particularly enjoyed teaching students at the Jefferson County Resource Learning Center; she later became the chair of the science department at The Altamont School. Sophia finished her career teaching chemistry at Jefferson State Junior College until the age of 85. As the wife of an army paratrooper turned Methodist minister, she and Pete moved frequently to different parishes in early adulthood. They spent two years at parsonages at Forrest Hills United Methodist Church, two years at Trinity United Methodist Church, and ten years at Wilson's Chapel United Methodist on Cumberland Drive. They eventually settled in their first home on Edwards Lake Road and spent 39 years at the Independent Methodist Church of Huffman. Organizations/Affiliations: Alpha Omega Pi sorority member in college. Birmingham Savantes Literary Club. Methodist church member (as minister's wife) for most of her life, then a member of the Independent Presbyterian Church on Highland Ave. for the last few years of her life. Sophia was also an avid musician. She was regularly the church organist, taught piano, instructed the church youth choir, and played the harp – a lifelong music lover, she began studying the cello in her early 80's. Sophia especially loved the music at Independent Presbyterian Church. She encouraged a shared enthusiasm for music with all of her children and grandchildren, many of whom continue to play today. An annual music scholarship is issued in her name at the Altamont School. In addition to being a talented musician, Sophia was also a scientist. She conducted research in protein crystallography under the direction of Dr. Larry DeLucas. Also an avid fan of the space program, she was selected and trained as one of the two NASA Teacher in Space program representatives from Alabama. Veritable world travelers, Sophia and Pete visited Scandinavia, Great Brittan, Europe, the Soviet Union, China, the Middle East, East Africa, and, their favorite, the Holy Land. They enjoyed traveling so much that they somehow managed to explore with their four children in tow. Sophia and Pete with much love, much (needed) patience, and a consistent example of how hardworking, caring Christians should lead their lives, raised 4 children: Dan Clifford, Katrina Clifford, Leigh Clifford-Drake, and Amy van Elkan; 10 grandchildren: Brion Sokoll, Devon Clifford, Connor Sokoll, Harrison Clifford, Hampton Leigh Adams, Maxwell Adams, Eric van Elkan Jr., Katherine van Elkan, Ryan Drake, Jason Drake; and 3 great grandchildren: Wesley Sokoll, Jamison Drake, and Kinleigh van Elkan. A Celebration of Sophia's Life will be held at 11:00am on Friday Feb. 15, 2019 at the Independent Presbyterian Church, 3100 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205, with a reception following at Vestavia Country Club, 400 Beaumont Dr, Birmingham, AL 35216. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable contributions be made to: the "W.B. (Pete) and Sophia M. Clifford Memorial Scholarship" fund at Birmingham Southern College. Checks made out to Birmingham Southern College, with the scholarship fund name noted on the "For" line can be mailed to: Birmingham-Southern College, Attn: Meredith Wolfe Alsabrook, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Box 549003, Birmingham, AL 35254 Or contributions can be made online at: https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/4464/donations/new , (select "Other" under the Designation tab, and list the fund name under the "Tell us where you would like to designate your gift to:" tab) Call Dan Clifford at 678-525-2563 or email at email@example.com for more information.
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