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Ronnie McDonald Clifton, lovingly known as Ron, began his journey in this world on November 8, 1957, as the cherished child of Willie McDonald Clifton and Mary Johnson Clifton. Sadly, on June 18, 2023, Ron bid farewell to his earthly existence, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be etched in the hearts of those who knew him. Ron was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey, although his original expected birth date was December 22nd, making him a premature infant who spent six weeks in the hospital before being welcomed home.
During his formative years, Ron's exceptional aptitude for mathematics shone brightly. He possessed an innate curiosity, always seeking to explore and assemble objects he discovered outside his home. At the tender age of 12, Ron's extraordinary talents were recognized when he constructed a lamp entirely from scratch, followed by a self-built stereo during his Industrial Arts Class.
Summer vacations were spent on his grandparents' farm in Louisburg, North Carolina, where Ron fostered numerous friendships within the community and at his grandparents' church. Influenced by these meaningful relationships, Ron made the decision to spend his final year of high school with his grandparents and proudly became a member of the Louisburg High School Class of 1975.
Following his graduation, Ron enrolled at Vance Community College before making the life-changing decision to enlist in the United States Navy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Great Lakes, Illinois, and was subsequently assigned to the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
While stationed in Annapolis, Ron's skills as an Electronic Engineer flourished, leading to his certification in the field. His exceptional expertise garnered him a transfer to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he undertook special assignments over a three-year period.
Ron's dedication to his craft drove him to earn advanced certifications in Electronic Engineering. Upon his return to the United States, his outstanding abilities caught the attention of the Ronald Reagan Administration, and he was handpicked to work in White House Communications throughout the 1980s.
During his time in White House Communications, Ron, now holding the rank of Petty Officer First Class, embarked on remarkable journeys accompanying President Ronald Reagan on Air Force One. From Japan and China to the USSR (Soviet Union, Russia), Reykjavik, Iceland, and Switzerland, Ron's work took him across the globe, leaving an indelible mark on his experiences.
After several years of service, Ron was honorably discharged from the military as a highly respected veteran. He continued his professional endeavors in the Engineering field, working for various companies from Maryland to North Carolina.
In 1998, Ron rededicated his life to Christ and joined the First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) where he was baptized. He later graduated from Brother’s in Discipleship (BID). In 2004, Ron joined the staff at FBCG where he served in the Productions Department as a Senior Audio-Visual Engineer. He was a dependable, diligent worker with commendable work ethics. He always gave 100%, no matter what the task. He was also very personable and made friends easily.
Ronnie McDonald Clifton will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to his family, his indomitable spirit, and his relentless pursuit of knowledge. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, ingenuity, and perseverance that will continue to inspire future generations. Ron's presence in the lives of those fortunate enough to have known him will be sorely missed, but his memory will forever remain a beacon of light in our hearts. May he rest in eternal peace.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents Willie and Mary Clifton, his son LaShaun Eaton, his niece Andriette (Dee) Clifton. He leaves in his memory his wife Janice Clifton; bonus children Antoinette Jackson and Brandon Riddle; grandchildren Jarrian, Xaunyell, LeDaniel, and Nevaeh. His sisters Lucy Sampson (Sziwe Dumasani) of Washington, DC, Sebrenda Clifton of Durham, NC, and Dana Clifton, of Raleigh, NC, and a host of close relatives, coworkers and friends.
Friday, July 7, 2023
First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center
3600 Brightseat Rd. Landover, MD 20785
Visitation: 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Life Celebration Service: 11:00 AM
Livestreaming @ https://fbcglenarden.org/funeralviewing
Interment: Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham (At a later date)
Condolences may be expressed on the above Tribute Wall