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Longtime Athens educator passes away In Colorado

Patricia Ann Davis Clifton, a pillar of faith, strength and grace, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2024, in Denver, Colorado, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Miami, Florida, on April 3, 1945, Pat was the cherished daughter of Roy Lee Davis, Jr., and Rachel Pinder Perry. She was a beacon of inspiration from Liberty City, graduating from Miami Northwestern Senior High School in 1963 and later earning her bachelors degree in Education with a minor in Sociology from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where she met her devoted husband, Dr. Ivery D. Clifton, son of the late B.J. and Rosetta Clifton from Statesboro, Georgia. They wed on May 28, 1967, and were married for 52 years.


Pat and Ivery were blessed with two children, Kalisa Nicole (Nikki) Clifton and Kelli Rochelle Clifton (Ogunsanya). Although they were born thirteen years apart, their upbringing was similarly rooted in their parents' consistent high expectations for Christian values, family solidarity, educational excellence and giving back.


Pat was a passionate educator. Throughout her impactful career spanning 32 years, she touched countless lives as a dedicated teacher, Clarke County Middle School Coordinator and Principal of Patti Hilsman Middle School, where she retired after 12 years. Her unwavering belief in every child's potential was coupled with her compassionate, supportive standards of excellence. She embodied the belief that dedicated, unwavering support could unlock success in every child.


Pat's unshakable faith was the cornerstone of her life. She was an active member of First A.M.E. Church, in Athens, Georgia, where she dutifully served on the Christian Education Ministry, Stewardess Board and the Young People's Department, among other committees. Her devotion to community service was evidenced by her memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated, and her leadership roles in the Georgia Retired Educators Association and the Historic Preservation Committee for First A.M.E. Church, among others.


Pat was a devoted, loving wife and a sterling role model for her children and grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Ivery and her sister Whilamena Perry. Left to cherish her memory are her loving daughters, Nikki Clifton (Robert Chiappetta) and Kelli Clifton Ogunsanya (David Ogunsanya), her siblings, Cassandra Perry, Bernard Perry and Shauna Perry, brother-in-law, Dr. Mavin D. Clifton (Laura N. Clifton) and sister-in-law Gwendolyn Clifton Miller (Murray E. Miller). She is survived by adoring grandchildren, Miles Clifton Pierre, Olivia Anderson Pierre, Iveryrose Ogunsanya, Matteo Chiappetta and Gabriela Chiappetta and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbors.


A celebration of Pat's remarkable life and legacy is being planned for June 29, in Athens, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates expressions of sympathy at that time. She will be laid to rest at a private interment alongside her beloved husband at Arlington National Cemetery. More details will be shared shortly at patriciadcliftonfoundation.com.


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