Sylvester Clifford

Sylvester Clifford, 92, of Vermillion SD, passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, November 6, 2021 at his residence. Loved ones were present in payer of passing. A memorial service will be held 2:00pm Friday, November 12, 2021 at the United Methodist Church in Vermillion.

Sylvester, known to most as “Cliff”, was born May 17, 1929 in Forgan, OK to William and Ella (Street) Clifford. He was a devoted and loving spouse after marrying his high school sweetheart, Betty Gregory, on June 11, 1949. After a shorter career in teaching challenged children and serving in the Korean war, he completed a doctorate program in communication disorders at Denver University. Sylvester had 33 distinguished years as a Professor at the University of South Dakota, serving as Director of the Speech and Hearing Department for a portion of his career. He worked hard to improve services to those in need throughout the state of SD and earned numerous awards and honors for his persistent efforts. Cliff and Betty sponsored several refugee families through the church who have all remained especially dear to him. After retirement, Sylvester stayed active in his community and church, enjoying his many beloved friends. He spent some time traveling, but in later years has mostly enjoyed his daily walks and staying in contact with his many friends and loved ones. Cliff always worked to improve the lives of those around him in large and small ways with his loving heart and generous spirit. He will truly be missed by those who had the privilege to know him.

Sylvester was preceded in death by his parents: William S. Clifford and Ella Opal Clifford (Street); his loving spouse, Betty Alice Clifford (Gregory), his sons David William Clifford and Bradford William Clifford. He is survived by his daughter, Opal Alice Bruns and grandchildren: Jenica, Brandy, Adam, and Carmen, and seven great grandchildren.

Kober Funeral Home of Vermillion has been entrusted with the service. Condolences may be posted online to