Nickerson Funeral Home

87 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA


Richard Kean Clifford

February 19, 1943December 6, 2019
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Richard Kean Clifford, 76, of Chatham, formerly of Simsbury, CT, passed away at his home on December 6, 2019 surrounded by his family.

He was born February 19, 1943 and spent his childhood growing up in Bantam, CT. Richard graduated from Torrington High School, Torrington, CT, in 1961. He went on to graduate from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, with a degree in Engineering and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a degree in Landscape Architecture.

Richard married Judi Wohlrab on November 19, 1966, one of his best friends since 8th grade. They raised their family in Simsbury, CT. Richard began his career as a Landscape Architect for CT State Parks/Forest Commission and years later, advanced to the position of Director of CT State Parks. For the last decade of his career, he was a Bureau Chief responsible for the management of the Divisions of Boating, Land Acquisition, Law Enforcement and State Parks within the CT Department of Environmental Protection.

While vacationing in Chatham in the 1970’s, Richard and Judi fell in love with the town and in 1997 purchased their first vacation home. They retired to Chatham in 2003 where they both became involved in local community organizations. This provided an opportunity for Richard to become engaged in his passion for designing and building projects. He was an original member of the Chatham Harwich Newcomers Woodworkers group which provides custom woodworking for non-profit and government organizations. Some of the projects include cabinetry for Eldridge Public Library, a wall unit for the Harwich Community Center, and benches for Labyrinth Chase Park. One of Richard’s unique pieces is the boat lectern he designed and constructed for the summer morning beach services at Oyster Pond. In addition, he had built many elaborate floats for the Chatham Fourth of July parades. As a member of the First Night Chatham committee since 1997, Richard is well known for his creation of the Countdown Cod.

Richard is survived by his wife, Judi, daughter Ami Clifford Derick and her husband, Jeff, of Simsbury, CT and son Lieutenant Colonel Jason Kean Clifford and his wife, Donna of Northfield, VT. He was a proud grandfather to Liam and Brody Derick, who were the light of his life. He is also survived by his siblings: Ronald Clifford of Utah, Fritha Knudson of CA, and Garrett Clifford of NY, and several nieces and nephews.

He will be remembered for his creativity, love for woodworking, and his desire to help others.

Memorial Visitation services will be held on Friday, December 13, 2019 from 5-7pm at Nickerson Funeral Home, 87 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com

Donations in Richard’s name may be made to Monomoy Community Services, 166 Depot Rd, Chatham, MA 02633, Phone: (508) 945-1501.


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, December 13, 2019


Richard Kean Clifford

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Bonnie Brenner

December 18, 2019

Dear Judi and family,

Our sincerest condolences for Richard’s passing. I feel blessed to have both of your voices of congratulations on my 70th birthday CD. I’ll cherish hearing his and your voices singing a celebrative greeting. He will not be forgotten in Chatham with all the wonderful contributions he made to the town. Our prayers are with you and your family this holiday season.

All the best
Bonnie and Peter Brenner

George Jaffe

December 16, 2019

Judy and I first met Richard in 1998 when we were seasonal neighbors in Chatham. He was the first one who informed us that we were "washashores" since we loved the town but were not born there. We would often run into them as we walked or biked along Cedar Street before they moved to their current home. We will remember him fondly, especially during FirstNightChatham, and send our sincerest condolences to Judi.

Judy Collins

December 13, 2019

Condolences from Scott, Lynne and myself for the many many times we shared together dinners my lovely cabinets in bathroom fireplace molding all I cherish think of you each day. Think he is visiting with Paul now!

Jerry&Carole Baule

December 12, 2019

Dear Judy

Jerry and I can't tell you how much we missed you and Rich. Little did we
know what the future would hold. When ever we got together and Rich would
show us his new work of art , his art was very special, how he could work with
wood was amazing. We will hold our memories in our hearts along with our
thoughts of you Judy. We look forward to seeing you .

Jerry and Carole Baule

Brianna Demski

December 11, 2019

I am so sorry to hear of Uncle Dick's passing. I will forever cherish the memories from when I was a kid and spending time with him in Simsbury and Chatham. His smile lit up every room he was in and he will be missed terribly. Love you all!

Joan & Gil Stone

December 11, 2019

Our sincere condolences to Judi and family on their loss.
We will cherish memories of Chatham-Harwich Newcomers events
and First Night Chatham when we were with Rich & Judi.
Joan & Gil Stone

Sandi Eldredge

December 11, 2019

I just heard in the diner about Richard. I was so shocked. My heart goes out to all of you. I have fond memories of you being a neighbor and friend of my parents and the help Richard had done for Fourth of July parades for my diner.

Just know my love is with you at this sad time.

Much love. Sandi

Julie Williams

December 11, 2019

Our heart felt condolences to you all. I am a friend of Ami’s in Simsbury (yes, we’ve caught up on many sidelines for soccer). I just wanted you to know we are thinking of you at this time. Such a gifted man, full of love and support for his kids and grandkids. I can see his laughter and engagement with them now as I think of him. Embrace the memories. He knew he was loved. It is obvious he had an impact on those around him as he shared his many talents. They will pass thru the generations to come...we see that now. Our thoughts are with you. Julie, Michael, Jack & Luke Williams

Richard Pears

December 11, 2019

Rose and I always enjoyed the hospitality and the chance to see how Rich’s latest project was going. He leaves a legacy of remarkable accomplishments. He made a great Manhattan too. We will miss him greatly. Warmest sympathies to Judi.

David Ruwet

December 11, 2019

Judi- I will always remember how the two of you would always open your home and hearts to anyone in my family. Our hearts go out to you.