FREEDOM – Wilda Berndt Clifton passed away peacefully Friday, September 16, 2022, at her 65-year-old home in Liberty.
She was born on July 16, 1924 in Youngstown, the firstborn of Carl and Pearl Furbee Berndt.
Wilda graduated from Vienna High School in 1942 and Bowling Green State University in 1945, with a bachelor’s degree in business education. She was president of Phratia sorority in Bowling Green and brought the local sorority to Alpha Gamma Delta. She was also a member of a national business honor society. She then taught at Perrysville High School from 1945 to 1947.
She met Kenneth Clifton in June 1946, in the Sunday school class at Liberty Presbyterian Church; and they were married there on July 26, 1947. She served as a deacon and elder at Liberty Presbyterian Church and has been a faithful member for over 70 years. She taught at Girard High School from 1947 to 1950 and retired to start a family. From 1952 to 1967, she was busy raising their five children and serving in the church as a youth leader. In 1967, she resumed teaching at Hubbard High School, retiring in 1984. She was a life member of the Trumbull County Retired Teachers and Ohio Retired Teachers.
Wilda and Ken enjoyed exploring the United States and bought their first trailer in 1963. Their first big trip took the family to Yellowstone. They were members of the Waggin Wheels Trailer Club, enjoying monthly weekends and annual trailers for over 40 happy years. Both served as club president. Wilda and Ken enjoyed 23 years of retirement together and had many extended vacations in their RV, including a trip to Alaska. They have also traveled to Hawaii, the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Wilda was predeceased by her husband, Ken in 2007; and her son, Russell in 2008. Her son-in-law, Charles Mitchell, died in 2011; and her younger brothers, Tom and Bruce, also died.
Wilda has shared her home with her son, Tim and daughter, Laurie for the past few years. Laurie and Wilda took a Panama Canal cruise in 2012. In 2014, Wilda decided she wanted to take one last big trip. The three sailed together from Florida to Madeira, Barcelona, Rome, Naples and Venice. Wilda smirked when people assumed she and Laurie were sisters, which happened more often than you might think. She also met former students all the time, although she only remembered the very good ones and the very bad ones.
Wilda is survived by her daughters, Lynn (Michael) Vittorio of Boardman and Laurie Mitchell of Liberty; sons, Ronald of Boardman and Timothy of Liberty; grandchildren, Amanda Clifton (Mike Minnow), Rachel Clifton (Brandon Rankin), James Kenneth Clifton and Christopher Vittorio (Shayn Smith); and great-grandchildren, Cameron, George Michael, Frankie and Charlee.
“She was definitely the matriarch of the family and she will be missed by all of us and will cherish her memory.”
Services will be at 11 a.m., with pre-service call times from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2022, at the Stewart-Kyle Funeral Home.
Wilda will be buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Hubbard.
Family and friends are invited to visit the funeral home’s website at www.stewart-kyle.com to share memories and condolences.