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Clifford J. Hummel

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 10:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:39 a.m. CDT

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Clifford Jerome “Cliff” Hummel, 91, formerly of Newton, passed away Saturday, June 29, 2013, at Mennonite Friendship Manor in South Hutchinson, Kan., under the care of hospice.

Cliff, the son of H. H. and Martha Josephine (Clifford) Hummel, was born Jan. 27, 1922, in Monroe, Jasper County, Iowa.

Cliff is survived by his wife Iva Mae (Babcock) Hummel. She was, as he said, the light of his life. His five children: Chistine (Denis) Ward of Oak Grove, La., Catherine (Patrick) Dunnam of Fort Worth, Texas, Kevin Hummel of South Hutchinson, Kan., Kimberly (Cindy) Hummel of Cleburne, Texas, Kari (Rickey) Burks of Hutchinson, Kan.; his five grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Matthew George, Elisabeth (Jeffrey) Graber and their daughter Lily Mae Graber; Iva Dunnam, Melody Hummel and Zack Burks. Other survivors include a brother, Don (Betty) Hummel and families of Newton.

Cliff attended school in Newton and graduated from Newton Senior High School, Class of 1941. After high school, Cliff went into the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II as part of PT Squadron #211 in the Atlantic Theater. Completing service, Cliff went on to attend and graduate from AIB Business College in Des Moines. He was later called back to proudly serve in the Korean War. Returning to Newton, he bought Gray’s Lounge in 1952, where he and Iva, as partners in marriage and business, worked together. Then in 1963, built Cliff’s Restaurant. In 1967, the business was sold to his brother Don Hummel, as Cliff and Iva embarked on a new journey and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where they owned and operated Ethan Allen Furniture Stores. Both sons Kevin and Kim were involved in the operation. In Fort Worth, Cliff was involved in many aspects of the community. He belonged to the Sales and Marketing Executives, Retail Furniture Association, Chairman of the Ridgelea Country Club Greens Committee, where he served on the board of directors, and board of directors at Gateway National Bank. Cliff was a Rotarian for 45 years and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was named as honorary member of the Texas A&M 1939 football champions, Charter member of the Knights of Columbus in Granbury, Texas, where he also served the community delivering meals-on-wheels for several years. In Fort Worth he volunteered for many years at John Peter Smith Hospital. He was a lifetime member of the Newton VFW, American Legion and Elks Club. Second to his passion for working with others, was Cliff’s obsession with golf. He loved the game and played well. In addition to playing in many competitive tournaments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, he also played for charities, playing once with Mickey Mantle. However his proudest golf memory was playing at the Augusta National Golf Course in Oct. 1973. His favorite charity tournament was Big Brothers & Big Sisters, for which he was awarded several Big Daddy trophies. He played in the yearly Ridgelea 400 Golf Tournament, during his golf years, and won a few victories, many of those playing with an old friend from Newton, Dr. Fred Carpenter, and the whole family enjoyed the activities. Cliff was a man who could strike up a conversation with just about anyone. He will be remembered for his boisterous personality and great sense of humor. He didn’t have to work hard to make his grandchildren laugh. He always had a story to tell, and never wanted for a willing audience. He lived a full and happy life filled with old friends and new. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Cliff was preceded in death by his parents.

A time of remembrances for Cliff, was held Friday at Mennonite Friendship Manor Chapel in South Hutchinson, Kan. Memorials have been designated in Cliff’s name to: Mennonite Friendship Manor Community Endowment Fund at 600 W. Blanchard, S. Hutchinson, KS 67505 or Our Lady of Guadalupe at 612 S. Maple, S. Hutchinson, KS 67505.

A memorial and interment service will be held at a later date at Pence-Reese Funeral Home in Newton, which has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.pencefh.com.

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