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Anna B. Clifford, Loyola Blakefield secretary, dies

In the early 1940s, Anna B. Clifford became a clerk-typist in the first wing of the Pentagon, then being constructed.
In the early 1940s, Anna B. Clifford became a clerk-typist in the first wing of the Pentagon, then being constructed. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Anna B. Clifford, a retired secretary to the Loyola Blakefield headmaster, died in her sleep Nov. 5 at the Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium. She was 96.

Born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of Condy Bott, a coal shops worker, and Anna Seppi, a homemaker. She grew up in Drifton, a coal town near Hazleton in Northeastern Pennsylvania and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1942. She became a clerk-typist in the first wing of the Pentagon, then being constructed.

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On V-E Day she went to work, though it was declared a holiday, because she knew that troops headed for Europe would need new orders for the Pacific theater.

After the war, she worked for the Office of War Assets and assisted in the selling off of surplus war materials.

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“She bought a silk parachute which she made use of in numerous sewing projects over the years,” said her son, the Rev. Thomas Clifford, a Jesuit priest who lives in Port Tobacco and is pastor of St. Ignatius Chapel Point.

Mrs. Clifford later joined the newly formed Atomic Energy Commission in the office of its chairman, David E. Lilienthal, until she left the federal government to raise her family.

She married Eugene J. Clifford, a traffic engineer, in 1949. They lived in Rockville, Richmond, Virginia, and Williamsburg, Virginia, before relocating to Baltimore County where he was the county’s director of traffic engineering.

Mrs. Clifford took seasonal jobs at Hutzler’s department store in Towson. In the middle 1970s she went to work as the secretary to the headmaster at Loyola Blakefield.

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In 2001 she was one of the first residents to move to the Mercy Ridge retirement community in Timonium.

“She was always an active organizer, served on the residents’ council, was a floor coordinator and helped manage the chapel,” her son said. “She was an organizational genius.”

In addition to her son, survivors include three other sons, James Clifford of Brandon, Florida, John Clifford of Midlothian, Virginia, and Paul Clifford of San Francisco; a daughter, Lois Wesson of Downington, Pennsylvania; and five grandchildren. Her husband of 42 years died in 1991.

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