Clifford (Cliff) Frank Carpenter of Jefferson GA passed away Monday September 14, 2020 at the age of 76. Cliff suffered cardiac arrest while receiving a CT scan at Emory Hospital Midtown Atlanta on August 21, 2020. After over 3 weeks in ICU and continued declining health he was moved into hospice.
Cliff passed peacefully with his wife Belinda holding his hand.
Cliff married Belinda December 11, 1971 after a beautiful love story began. It is truly a tale that movies are made of. Cliff loved his wife and often said it was an honor to be married to her. When she became ill he said for better or for worse and he would always take care of her. He was excited for their upcoming 50th anniversary in 2021 and informed his daughter and granddaughter to plan a big celebration. Although Cliff had no biological children of his own he and Belinda raised their two daughters from her previous marriage Terina and Carla in a loving christian home in Stone Mountain Georgia. He was proud to be their father and made sure to let them know how much he loved them. Cliff was a loving husband and excellent father never missing a softball game, school event or special occasion. He loved to attend Stone Mountain High School Football games in the 80’s and cheered them on every Friday. Cliff and Belinda became the honorary parents of all their daughters friends showing so much love and opening their home to everyone that entered. Once at a softball game someone asked them just how many kids they actually had because every player walked up and called them mom and dad. They both loved being involved in their children’s activities.
Cliff had one granddaughter, Kaleigh that he lovingly called Sugar Bear her entire life. Sugar Bear was his pride and joy and he loved spending time with her doing Papa things. He taught her how to fish and laughed because she could out fish him. Papa is the reason that Kaleigh loves the Braves they attended many games together until his health prevented it. He had one grandson Seth that loved to go to work with his Papa doing AC and Heating jobs. Papa was proud of Seth and how much help he was carrying tools and doing the work. Seth was his chauffeur as he called it once he started driving. He was a proud grandfather that bragged on his grandkids often. Once he became Papa all the kids in the neighborhood called him Papa and he wore that title with pride. Cliff was promoted to great grandfather when Rylee and Kason came along. He wanted to spend time with them as often as possible. He was so excited that great grandson #3 Noah was on the way. Although he was older and couldn’t get around as well he played with his great grandsons and took them everywhere he could. He loved his family and put them first before anything. Cliff was the originator of "bad dad jokes" often laughing the loudest at his corny jokes.
Cliff was a member of Cornerstone Assembly of God in Flowery Branch Georgia and he often bragged on his Pastor and family. He served his church well and taught his children to be faithful servants. When church was only available online he would watch every Sunday on Facebook live stream. We don’t know how many times he has read the Bible through but his pages are worn and torn. He would finish reading and start over reading again 3 chapters a day. He loved reading the Bible and would share whatever he was reading about with his family.
Cliff was born in Scaly North Carolina on August 25, 1944 to William Frank Carpenter and Ethel Elsie Carpenter. The second of 3 children and the only son of Frank and Elsie he grew up helping his father work in the fields raising vegetables for market and later harvesting pulp wood. Frank would remarry and have another daughter later in life. Cliff would tell stories of driving the mountain roads with the lights of the car off using the moon to guide him. He loved cars and especially enjoyed a little hot rodding in his youth. He is a 1963 Graduate of Tamassee DAR High School In Tamassee South Carolina where he achieved perfect attendance. He was a basketball player and all around sports lover in High School.
Cliff joined the Army August 24, 1965 just one day before his 21st birthday. He served active duty until his departure on August 23 1968 as an E5 Sargent. During his service he received an Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Parachutist Badge, National Defense Service Medal and a Bronze Star- for which he never informed us as to why. The humble man that he was would only say everyone got one. He later told us he saved some men on a hill and that is all he would say about it. Cliff was in the 82nd Airborne then the 101st Airborne. When talking about the army he said he took off 19 times in an airplane before they let him land in one. Cliff served his country with pride and would do it again at any time if capable. He was Service Connected as a result of his time in Vietnam and incurred many health issues for which he was recognized as a disabled Veteran. He wore his Vietnam Hat with pride and thanked others for their service.
After leaving the Army Cliff began working for General Motors retiring after 31 years. When the plant in Doraville, Georgia closed down he had an opportunity to continue working in Alabama however he chose to retire not wanting to move away from his family. He was a member of UAW working in the parts division. After his retirement he would often drive to Doraville for lunch with his General Motors retiree friends at the Picadilly.
Cliff used his GI Bill to attend Dekalb Technical College in the 70’s where he obtained a degree for Heating, AC and refrigeration. When he took the ASVAB he scored so high the Air Force tried to get him to join, he politely declined. He spent over 40 years doing what he loved, AC and heating. He was good at it and very much a perfectionist. He never retired from Cliffs heating and air, in fact he was working on units just before he was hospitalized. He would say he had a gift from God and needed to use it for good. He often did repairs without service charges or at a reduced cost. He had his own way of doing things and nothing was going to change that. If anyone wanted to learn about AC/Heating he would gladly teach them the skills. He took prided in teaching others especially if they were willing to learn.
Cliff was not good at retirement so 7 days after retiring from GM he started working at The Home Depot in Buford GA where he was fondly known as "Cliff in Plumbing” for 10 years. He was loved by everyone at The Home Depot, even after retiring he stayed in contact with his friends. A trip to Buford Home Depot was long because everyone would want to talk to him. Even customers became friends with him and stayed in contact long after he left. He enjoyed helping others and this was a great way for him to use his gift.
No matter what Cliff was doing he always did it with a song in his heart singing gospel songs while he worked. If he wasn’t singing he was whistling or humming. He loved music and his Sirius radio was a must in his vehicles. Most every settling was set to 60’s on 6. It was his radio and while you were in his car you listened to his music like it or not. He would sing the songs and talk about the music that he loved. He made friends with the radio hosts for 93.3 and often called to request songs and just talk to them while they worked. He even dropped by the station to hang out with his buddies. He knew them by name and even what shift they worked. He made sure they kept up with scores and announced them especially Flowery Branch High School which he became a fan of when his grandkids attended.
Cliff loved sports and never missed a game once he learned how to use his DVR. The Braves were his favorite team and he loved to talk about them with anyone that wanted to engage. He would sit in his man-cave wearing his Braves hat like he was sitting in the stands. If something good happened he would call his daughter or granddaughter and make sure they knew what was going on. Although he was a Georgia Bulldog fan he would watch and pull for any SEC team not playing the Bulldog’s. If Alabama was playing he would talk to his daughter about every play good or bad, if Georgia beat them he would laugh and say Go Dawgs. If Auburn was playing he would text his granddaughter and talk about the game.
At his new house he had his man cave set up and it was easy to see immediately how much his family meant to him. Pictures of his family adorned the walls and shelves. He also had his Army shirt, a US Flag and Airborne Flag proudly displayed. Cliff was an honorable man loved by so many and respected by everyone. He never had an unkind word to say about anyone and found it better to speak well of people. His smile was genuine and his laugh wonderful to hear. If you met Cliff you wanted to be his friend no matter how much age difference between you.
He loved animals and treated his dogs like princesses often saying they are living their best life. It is true they are so spoiled. They have a routine and know exactly when it is treat time.
We got him an iPhone and he thought it was cool having a smart phone. As he would say his phone was smarter than him. Once he discovered Facebook he was able to connect with so many people and he loved sharing things he would read about. He would friend everyone that came up as a suggestion especially people from Stone Mountain. His comments were simple and usually Neat, Cool or Awesome. He enjoyed all of you and we are thankful for your kindness to him.
Cliff is survived by his wife of 48 years Belinda, two daughters Terina Brown of Hartwell and Carla Brown of Braselton, granddaughter Kaleigh (Justin) Henderson of Braselton, Grandson Seth Brown of Hartwell, great grandsons Rylee Bunch, Kason Bunch and the future Noah Henderson all of Braselton, a sister Frankie (Kim) Carpenter and his two Dachshunds Cuddles and Mandy. Cliff leaves behind many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and friends that will miss him dearly. He was proceeded in death by his parents Frank Carpenter and Elsie Carpenter, Sisters Stella and Lovina.
The Family would appreciate people bringing cards or letters with stories of your fondest memories of Cliff. We will enjoy reading about your adventures with Cliff.
During the Covid Cliff was unable to attend church but would watch every Sunday on the Facebook Live stream. He would call Carla every Sunday and ask where the link was so he could watch. He would be proud to grow this ministry and give others and opportunity to participate in service. To know that he could have a positive impact on the ministry would be the greatest honor we could give for him.
In lieu of flowers the family asks you to make Donation on Behalf of Cliff Carpenter to expand online Ministry
Donations can be made to
Cornerstone Assembly of God
3622 Atlanta Hwy
Flowery Branch GA 30542
Or give online at www.cstone.church/give
Please indicate Cliff Carpenter on donations
Evans Funeral Home Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia. 706-367-5467.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mr. Clifford Frank Carpenter, please visit our floral store.
Cornerstone Assembly of God
3622 Atlanta Highway, Flowery Branch GA 30542