Cover photo for John Anthony Cliffe's Obituary
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1947 John 2021

John Anthony Cliffe

June 11, 1947 — January 8, 2021

John A. Cliffe, of Waukesha, passed away at the age of 73 on Friday, January 8, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born on June 11, 1947, in Highland Park, Illinois, the son of Bruce and Alda (nee Schoonover) Cliffe. On June 27, 1970, he married Karen Zahnle in Deerfield, Illinois. John earned his degree in architectural engineering technology from MSOE. He and Karen spent their early married life in Madison, Wisconsin, where he designed their first home. They were members at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, regular attendees of the Madison Rep and UW Men’s Hockey season ticket holders. In 1979, John joined J. H. Findorff and Son, Inc., as a project manager. He brought his family to Waukesha in 1987 when he was asked to become a founding member of Findorff’s Milwaukee office. He felt privileged to work in the construction of many landmark buildings in Milwaukee. John retired after 32 years with the company. He and Karen were active members of St. Matthias Episcopal Church where John served on the church vestry. They were Milwaukee Rep season ticket holders and longtime UW-Varsity Band supporters. John was a member and former president of Waukesha Early Risers Kiwanis. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, and participating in multiple Corvette clubs. John was most passionate about hockey. He was a lifelong player in several leagues, a youth referee and coach, and a UW off-ice official. John will be remembered as a wonderful husband, loving father, grandfather, and friend.

John will be deeply missed by his wife Karen (“K”) Cliffe, along with their children Colleen (Andrew) Feldner, Elizabeth Cliffe (Keith) Kucharski and Ian (Ellie Martin) Cliffe. Grandchildren Wendy and Abby Feldner, Logan Kucharski, and Rowan Cliffe. He is further survived by his sisters Diana (Robert) Hunter, Nancy (Rick) Binder, Diane Kroll, PhD., and sister-in-law, Cathleen Coward. In addition to his parents and second father, George Kroll, he is preceded in death by his daughter Shonna and brother, Bruce A. Cliffe, Jr.

Due to the current health crisis no services will be held at this time. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Private family interment will take place at St. Matthias Episcopal Church’s columbarium.

Donations in John’s name are appreciated to St. Matthias Episcopal Church (111 E. Main St., Waukesha, 53186).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Anthony Cliffe, please visit our flower store.

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St. Matthias Church Columbarium

111 E. Main Street

, Vernon, WI 53186

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