John W. Cliff, Jr. (J.D. ’74)

ODESSA, TX – John W. Cliff, Jr., age 70, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 10, 2020, at his home in Odessa, Texas. He was born on March 25, 1950, in Bonham, Texas to parents John William Cliff and Betty Lou Wheeler Cliff.

The oldest of three children, John spent his childhood in Japan, Germany, and Texas while his father served in the Air Force. He attended the University of Houston for undergraduate studies and went on to receive his law degree from the Bates College of Law at the University of Houston. After graduating from law school, John moved to Odessa where he worked for over a decade with various other attorneys in private practice until opening his solo private practice to which he dedicated his life’s work up until his passing. He was also a part-time instructor from 1991 until 2014 at Odessa College where he enjoyed teaching family law and legal research and writing.

When he wasn’t busy representing his clients in court, John could be found swinging a club on the golf course with his best buddies (or watching a tournament from the comfort of his living room), listening to music (we won’t get into his love for Kenny G here), reading about politics, sports, international affairs, and the like, sending random articles about said subjects to all of his children at odd hours when he claimed to do his best work, watching movies or laughing with his beloved wife. While John was a tremendous attorney and dedicated his life to upholding the law and representing clients from all walks of life, he was above all else a kind, loving soul who will be missed by his family, friends and those who dedicate their lives to the same ideals he held dear. Our email inboxes and hearts are a bit emptier without his presence but we take great comfort in knowing he is whole again and in a far better place — where his golf game and taste in music are perhaps better appreciated.

John is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Rebecca Cliff, his brother Daniel Wayne Cliff and wife Susan of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, his sister Martha Kaye Ramirez and husband Roland of Tucson, Arizona. He is also survived by all of his children — son Jacob Cliff and daughter-in-law Paula (Diehl) Cliff, daughter Heidi Cliff, son Jordan Cliff, daughter Hillary Lyon and son-in-law Josh Lyon, daughter Holli Cliff, and stepson Harrison Cobos and daughter-in-law Helen Cobos – and his nine grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service may be held in the future when John’s full beloved community of family and friends can be together to celebrate him and share special memories. In the interim, if you choose to honor him, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Odessa American on Aug. 2, 2020.

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