Clifford Paul Torrey Jr. died at home Monday, June 25, 2018, surrounded by his wife, Antonia, four children, Jesse, Barbara, Austin, and Madalyn, and his daughter-in-law, Shaelah.
Cliff, or Skippy, as his family called him growing up, was born in Linton, N.D. to Clifford and Evelyn. He and his five siblings, Mary Kay, Bill, Barbara, Paula, and Michele, grew up in LaMoure before the family moved to San Diego, when Clifford was 13. He attended Helix High School, where he ran cross country and forged lifelong friendships. At 21, he was drafted into the Army and received two Purple Hearts for injuries received in combat in the Vietnam War. After serving, Clifford moved to Atascadero where he lived until his death. In 1971, he met the love of his life, Toni. Clifford and Toni were passionate, devoted, and respectful of each other. They shared a commitment to family, personal integrity, and social justice.
Cliff had this funny and affectionate curiosity that felt so easy to be around. Those who knew him appreciated his sense of humor, thoughtful cards and gifts, and captivating storytelling. A curious, hard-working man, he hitch-hiked across country in his youth, rebuilt engines from scrap parts, painted houses, drafted plans, sold industrial hardware, cultivated wildflowers, volunteered with The Senior Nutrition Program, memorized the capital of every country in the world, and golfed as often as he could.
He will be missed by those who loved him and whom he loved: his wife, children, their partners, Tom, Jason, Shaelah, and Aaron, his grandchildren, Olivia, Junah, Ezra, and Chloe, mother-in-law Lynne Henderson, his siblings, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
Those wishing to come together in remembrance of Clifford may do so on Saturday, July 7, in the Fellowship Hall of the Community Church of Atascadero, 5850 Rosario Ave., at 1 p.m. Anyone wanting to share stories and memories of Clifford will have the opportunity to do so.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the ACLU or The Senior Nutrition Program of SLO County.