Former longtime agriculture agent Clifford Park is remembered this week as “a true gentleman” and as a “man dedicated to his faith and his community”.
Park passed away last Wednesday evening at his home. He was 94 and had been in declining health over the last year.
“Mr. Clifford was just a model citizen in every sense of the word,” recalls longtime friend Judge Franklin Rozier Jr.
Rozier first met Park through the county 4-H program.
“He was my advisor on several projects during my school year,” he said.
Rozier later served along side of him at the First United Methodist Church and the Blackshear Rotary Club.
“He served in many capacities at First United Methodist and he was our secretary-treasurer for many years at Rotary. He worked hard and was always very dedicated to everything he had a part in,” Rozier recalled.
Long-time farmer Jacob Davis of the Beulah Community says Park was someone you could depend on.
Davis, 97, says he was deeply sorry to hear of the passing of his long-time friend.
“Clifford was always quick to come and check out my farm problems as they arose,” he said. “We went through several years of drowned tobacco crops and Clifford encouraged me to put in drain tile. It is the best advice I ever got.”
Davis said Park also helped his children in the 4-H program.
“I remember one time, Clifford drove my son, Jay, and another student and I down to Santa Fe, FL to purchase improved Purebred heifers for our cattle farm. We left in the middle of an ice storm. Ice was hanging from the telephone wires, but we made it there and back safely,” Davis recalls. “He was also instrumental in getting commercial sponsors to help our young 4-H cattle growers to build better herds.”
Born in Tennille and a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Park graduated from the University of Georgia in 1950 with a degree in agriculture.
After a short stint in Jesup, Park moved to Blackshear about 60 years ago as the UGA Pierce County Agriculture Extension Agent.
He is remembered for his positive influence on many youths in the county as the 4-H advisor, with several winning national honors.
Park was also active at First United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school for 59 years and serving in various capacities at the church during his membership there.
He had the privilege of being the oldest and longest standing member of the Blackshear Rotary Club until 2018 when his health forced him to no longer be able to attend. While a member, he served as a past president, longtime treasurer, and was a Paul Harris Fellow.
He was also instrumental in founding the Lakeview Golf Course and also served as president of the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and served on the Pierce County Tax Equalization Board.
Park was the Pierce County Citizen of the Year recipient in 1984 and the S. Dow Nimmer award recipient in 2002.
He enjoyed golfing, fishing and working in his yard.
Park was known for having one of the most well-kept yards in the area.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, from the First United Methodist Church.
For a full obituary, please see page 3 of this week's edition of The Blackshear Times.