William Cliff Oxford, 70, of Purlear, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at Davie Medical Center.
On April 29, 1951, Cliff was born in Fayetteville to William Banks and Tosca Harris Oxford. He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, and queen of his life, Sharon Idol Oxford of the home; a daughter, Sarah Whitney Oxford (Luke Studd) of Torquay, Australia; two sons, John Sterling Oxford (Emily) of Tupelo, Miss., Clayton Harris Oxford (Patricia) of Boone; six grandchildren, Maggie, Bert, Banks, Georgiana, Marina, Clayburn; and a brother, Dwight Oxford of Brunswick, Ga. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilkesboro.
Born into a military family with a father who served as a Green Beret, he attended 18 different schools, including schools in Hawaii, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, before graduating from high school. He was selected and attended Governors school in both Georgia and North Carolina for the visual arts.
After his extensive compulsory educational tour, he attended the University of Tennessee, where he served as president of both the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and the Scarab and Blade Society and graduated with dual majors in communication and graphic design. Cliff also holds a Master of Public Administration from Ball State University and a PMD from Harvard Business School.
Post-college, he completed a three-year tour in Germany as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Upon returning from military service and a short stint working in Washington, D.C., as a staffer on the House Ethics Committee, most of his professional career was spent with Lowe’s Companies, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations and Human Resources. During his time at Lowe’s, one of his many and proudest accolades was winning the Financial World Gold Award for 1986 Annual Report, Best of all Industries.
After a successful career with Lowe’s, he worked as a consultant for many companies within the furniture and design industry and had many entrepreneurial endeavors.
Cliff, a giver by nature, was a seminal member of too many organizations to mention. However, a few notable engagements about which he was most proud include being one of the founders of the National Home Safety Council, a member of the vestry of St Paul’s Church, as well as the western diocese of Episcopal Church for North Carolina, a board member of Wilkes County Art Gallery and a representative of the United Way.
While serving on the St. Pauls’ Episcopal Church of Wilkesboro vestry and the western diocese Episcopal church of North Carolina, Cliff was instrumental in building the new sanctuary at Saint Paul’s.
Cliff had a real passion for life and love for the arts, deep-sea fishing, travel, design, architecture, Broadway musicals and multiple creative projects — the keyword being “multiple.”
He lived to shower his friends and family with love by hosting parties with fine wine and food, including his favorite, Florida stone crab claws. Cliff loved his family dearly and especially treasured his six grandchildren, by whom he is fondly remembered as “Papa #2.”
His memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at St. Paul’s, where he was very much involved in its renovation and the installation of the frescoes.
Rev. Stephanie E. Parker will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Inurnment will be in the Church Labyrinth. The family requests face masks out of respect for each other’s well-being.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wilkes Health Foundation, P.O. Box 667, North Wilkesboro, N.C., 28659. Online condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.