Paul B. Clifford, insurance executive

April 13, 2009|By NICOLE FULLER

Paul Bancroft Clifford, a veteran and retired Baltimore insurance executive, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Thursday at his home in Ocean City.

He was 78.

He was born in Boston to Stewart H. Clifford, a pediatrician, and Ellinor Burnett Clifford, the daughter of Paul M. Burnett, who was a president of Baltimore-based Monumental Life Insurance Co. It was a family business that he would eventually join, rising to the position of senior vice president.

Mr. Clifford graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., in 1949 and then attended Williams College. In 1953, Mr. Clifford married Shirley Hamilton. The two met as teenagers, when their families owned summer homes near each other just north of Cape Cod. She died in 1987.

Mr. Clifford graduated from Williams in 1953 and then joined the Navy.

He was stationed in San Francisco and Newport, R.I., for his Navy training, before serving in Panama. He achieved the rank of lieutenant and received an honorable discharge in 1957. He was a member of the Reserves until 1963.

After returning from Panama, Mr. Clifford enrolled in Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA in 1959. The family then moved to Baltimore, where Mr. Clifford began work at Monumental, which began in 1858 as Maryland Mutual Life and Fire Insurance Co., the state's first insurance company. His grandfather was president of the company when it changed its name in 1935 and moved to its current location at Charles and Chase streets downtown.

During Mr. Clifford's tenure at Monumental, he was instrumental in bringing new technology to Monumental Life in the form of the IBM 1410 computer, part of a series that the computer company first introduced in 1960.

Mr. Clifford and his family first lived in Rodgers Forge and later in Roland Park and Homeland. Mr. Clifford's first marriage ended in divorce in 1983. He retired in 1988.

He married Carolyn Gildon Clifford, whom he met through a mutual friend, in the summer of 1984. The couple moved to Ocean City in 2000 and also lived part time in Belleair Beach, Fla. In addition to Mr. Clifford's favorite pastimes of boating and playing golf, he and his wife traveled frequently, including to Greece and several cruises in the Caribbean.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Clifford served as president of the board of two nonprofits: Florence Crittenton Services of Baltimore, a shelter; and Young Audiences of Maryland, an arts in education group, of which he was an honoree in 1997.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.

In addition to his wife, survivors include three brothers, Stewart B. Clifford of New York, Frederick M. Clifford of Duxbury, Mass., and Donald J. Clifford of Chatham, Mass.; four children, Paul Burnett Clifford of Newfane, Vt., Valerie Fisher Clifford-Pereira of Easton, Mass., Lynn Hamilton Clifford of Baltimore and Amory Stewart Clifford Woodman of Easton, Mass.; two stepchildren, Lee Garvin of Chantilly, Va., and Shea Garvin of Ocean City; and seven grandchildren.

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