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Clifford's Story

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Clifford Robert Williams, 72, longtime attorney, Elkhart County Public Defender and friend to many, passed away early Saturday morning, Dec. 16, 2017 at the Center for Hospice Care Elkhart, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Clifford was born Sept. 12, 1945, in South Bend, to the late Robert Scott and Sarah Maxine (Addleman) Williams. He married Rebecca Ann "Andi" Sutton, in 1987, in New Carlisle. Andi died Feb. 16, 2008.
Survivors include his sister, Sharon E. Bartos, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; many close and dear friends of many years, including Sue Hobson, her son (his godson) Bradley (Renee Hardy) Hobson, Elkhart; Bill Clark, friend and confidant; his "Goshen Guys" Jeff Majerek, Chris Crawford, Matthew Johnson, Luke Krizek, Peter Soldato and Ryan Mehl; and those he was a friend and mentor to, including Phil Miller, Peter Todd and Edward Chester. He also has cousins and extended family in Pennsylvania.
In addition to his parents and wife, Andi, his brother-in-law Col. Robert E. Bartos, preceded him in death.
Cliff enlisted in the United States Army during the Vietnam War from 1968, with special forces training, until his honorable discharge in 1970. He served as a Green Beret with the 199th Infantry Brigade, known as the "Redcatchers." Cliff achieved the rank of First Lieutenant with many commendations, including the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals, Parachute Badge, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, two Overseas Bars and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Cliff served as a public defender and also as chief public defender for 37 years in Elkhart County. He was also a member of the Elkhart County Bar Association. He had a soft spot for stray animals, and loved his collection of vintage and muscle cars.
Family, friends and others, whose lives Clifford touched are invited to Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St., Elkhart, from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, to reminisce, grieve, support each other and, of course, just chat. Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 with visitation one hour prior, also at the funeral home.
Burial will follow at Adamsville Cemetery in Edwardsburg, Michigan, where full military honors by the U.S. Army Funeral Honor Guard and DAV #19.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials in Clifford's name to United Cancer Services of Elkhart County, 23971 S. Main St., Elkhart, IN 46516 or St. Joseph County Humane Society, 2506 Grape Rd., Mishawaka, IN 46545. Please visit billingsfuneralhome.com to send a condolence to the family.
Published on December 18, 2017
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