Clifford L. Thaxton, 92, of Jacksonville, passed away Friday, August 2, 2013, at Heritage Health in Jacksonville.
He was born on June 18, 1921, in Virden to Troy and Lois Lair Thaxton. He married the love of his life, Lorene Mussatto, on Jan. 20, 1945, and she preceded him in death on May 17, 1983. Mr. Thaxton is survived by his daughter, Connie (Larry) Rau of Springfield; his son, Steven Clifford Thaxton of Chapin; his half-brother, Kenny (Sally) Hierman of East Alton; three grandchildren, Klint (Lisa) Thaxton of Ashland, Keely (Ryan) LeTourneau of Morton, and Kliff (Jen) Thaxton of Jacksonville; eight great-grandchildren, Kinnedy, Peyton, Kyleigh, Karissa, Troy, Victoria, Koy and Jaylynn; his sister-in-law, Vivian Mussatto, and his longtime caregiver and friend, Nancy Jo Robinson, both of Jacksonville.
He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Tom “Butch” (Sue) Mussatto, Sue (Mossie) Prosser, Mike (Pat) Mussatto, Trish (Mike) Halsne, Cass Hierman and Holly Cheatham; and also his great-nieces and great-nephews.
Cliff was preceded in death by one daughter, Karen Marie Thaxton, one son, Louis Thaxton; his brother, Howard “Tiny” Thaxton; and his best buddy and brother-in-law, Tom Mussatto.
While attending high school, Cliff excelled both academically and athletically. Raised during the Depression, he worked during junior high and high school to help support his family. He fetched the mail from the train station each morning at 4:30 a.m., delivered newspapers and worked at the local grocery store. After high school Cliff proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served 19 months in the European Theatre and 20 months stateside.
Education was paramount in his life, making him a lifelong educator and student. Cliff graduated from Illinois College in 1945, with a B.S. Degree. He then earned Master’s Degrees from the University of Illinois at Champaign and Auburn University in Auburn, AL. He also earned his Ed.S Degree from Purdue University.
Cliff worked as an educator and counselor for Jacksonville School District #117 from 1949-1985 and as a counselor for Routt High School from 1986-1996. He touched many students’ lives and was honored to help them. He was a member of Church of Our Saviour, Illinois Teachers Association and the VFW.
Cliff enjoyed traveling, both in the US and Europe, fishing, hunting, golfing, gardening and reading. He loved people! He always had a smile on his face, a joke to tell, and a pocket full of candy to share with everyone he met. He lived an active and fulfilling life. Cliff’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a special joy in his life.
He will sadly be missed by his family and friends. TTEOT
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville, with burial at Memorial Lawn Cemetery. The family will meet friends 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the Illinois College Education Department. Condolences may be left at www.buchanancody.com.