Clifford Carroll Pierce

Clifford Carroll Pierce Dec. 15, 1922 - Oct. 30, 2012 Long time San Mateo County resident Clifford "Cliff" Carroll Pierce passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, October 30th.

Cliff was well known in the equestrian community and spent many hours at the Webb Ranch in Portola Valley riding, jumping and exploring the trails in the foothills that he loved. Cliff Pierce was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania and at age seven accompanied his mother, Ludmilla, brother, Stan, and sisters, Barb and Pat, on an ocean liner through the Panama Canal to join his father, Stan, in San Francisco. Cliff considered himself a California native son.

Growing up in Burlingame, Belmont, Pescadero and Butano, Cliff became an avid outdoorsman at an early age and developed a love of horses which continued throughout his lifetime. A born leader, Cliff was the Student Body President at both Sequoia High School and San Mateo Junior College. His dreams of becoming a veterinarian were forever changed on December 7, 1941.

He joined the U.S. Navy and became a fighter pilot flying Corsairs off the Intrepid for the duration of World War II. After the war ended, Cliff was hired by Pan American Airways as a pilot. He was stationed on Wake Island for a time and returned to Pan Am as the Manager of Crew & Flight Scheduling.

It was there where he met Palo Alto native, Margaret "Betty" O'Brien whom he married on August 7, 1949. They built a home in Redwood City where they have lived happily for 63 years. Cliff's job at Pan Am took him to Hawaii, Singapore, London, Hong Kong and New York.

When asked to move to New York for a promotion he declined, saying that he just couldn't leave the beauty and bounty of his beloved California. He never regretted it a day.

Cliff retired, at the age of 57, from Pan Am after 34 years of service and declared, "I'll never wear a tie again".

For Cliff, retirement was an opportunity to pursue his many interests, which included fly-fishing the streams in far northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Idaho and New Zealand with his "fishing buddies". When he wasn't planning a fishing trip, he could be found riding horses and hiking the many trails around the Bay Area. He was also able to pursue his lifelong love of writing, which, combined with his innate sense of curiosity, produced three published books. Cliff was naturally adventuresome and was pleased to share his love of travel with his family.

By far the best gift Cliff gave to his family was his love of nature. He and his wife and their three children, Maureen, Marty and Sally, spent time every summer vacationing with friends at the Trinity Alps Resort in northern California, never missing a year since 1950. It is a tradition that endures today and that now includes grandchildren, Evan, Bianca and Cruz, great grandchildren, Lucia and Finley and son-in-law, Ron. Cliff will be remembered fondly by his many friends who have known him as an author, historian, equestrian, angler, environmentalist, preservationist, animal lover, pilot, limerick expert, story teller, explorer and dear friend. His family will miss his wisdom, his positive outlook and all his great stories told over a glass of wine and the sounds of the Stuart Fork.

The family has asked that contributions be made in Cliff's memory to the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA. Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel 650-369-4103


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