Clifford, Mary

Sparkill and Piermont, NY - Tappan Location

Mary A. Clifford (nèe Harlan), 92, a lifelong resident of the Sparkill area, was called home to God on Thursday, September 30, 2021. 

Mary was born on July 28, 1929 at Nyack Hospital, the third of four children of Edward and Josephine (Marshall) Harlan. She attended grammar school in Palisades and Piermont, and was a proud graduate of Tappan Zee High School's Class of 1947, where she was Salutatorian. She married Robert Clifford on October 8, 1955 and together, on a very modest income, they raised five children and opened their Edward Street home to scores of friends, neighbors, and relatives. Before becoming a housewife (a role that she cherished) Mary worked several years as a telephone operator with New York Telephone. She later served her community as an election poll worker for many years, where hundreds of people sought out her smiling face each November. Following her husband's death, Mary provided a friendly and familiar face as a volunteer at Nyack Hospital's front desk for 10 years. 

As a child of the Great Depression, Mary was ingrained with a profound and enduring appreciation for life's simple blessings, and a resilience that saw her through life's challenges. She lived in sacrifice and humility and gratitude, and her presence made her corner of the world a happier, kinder place. That corner was decidedly the Sparkill/Piermont area where she was so well-known for giving a friendly hello, a compassionate embrace, or a caring word of support to anyone she encountered. 

Mary was a lifelong parishioner of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Piermont and she credited her great faith for any good fortune that befell her. God was at the forefront of all that she did and thought, and she thoroughly enjoyed her membership in multiple parish organizations. 

She was predeceased by her parents: Edward and Josephine; her siblings: Anne ("Dinty") Tudesco, Eddie, and John; and her husband, Robert. Mary is survived by her children: Bobby (Carol) of Blauvelt, Nancy of Nanuet, Billy (Carolyn) of Congers, John (Karen) of Orangeburg, and Tommy (Rosanne) of Tappan; 11 grandchildren, 5, great-grandchildren and dozens of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

A Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, Oct. 6th, 11:30am at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Piermont with burial to follow at Rockland Cemetery in Sparkill. Visiting hours will be Tuesday, Oct. 5th, 3-8pm at the Moritz Funeral Home in Tappan. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps (