Clifford S. “Cliff” and “Pap” Vankirk, Sr, 78 passed away at 4:35 a.m., on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, after valiantly fighting his fourth battle with cancer since 2004.
He was by far the strongest man we have ever known. He beat pancreatic, colorectal and bladder cancers. His final battle of lung cancer, which had metastasized to his hip and brain and was more than his body could conquer.
Cliff was born April 4, 1939 in Walkersville, a son of the late Clifton S. Vankirk and Minnie (Mealey) Vankirk.
Life on Earth will not be the same for his wife of 59 years, Becky Vankirk. Although not a licensed nurse, she cared for him daily and was by his side through all of his illnesses. Having a strong faith, she is comforted that he is now pain-free and rejoicing in Heaven. He is also survived by sons, Cliff (Chandra) of Masontown, PA, and Chris of Weston; Grandchildren Derek (Alyssa) Vankirk, Kaylee (Brandon) Kirkpatrick, Tori Vankirk, David Skinner, Chantell (Stephen) Bair; Great-grandchildren Sophie Vankirk, Brooklyn Bai, and Dane Skinner; two dogs: Missy and Abigail; and several nieces and nephews.
He was the last surviving member of his immediate family having been preceded in death by three sisters: Beaulah Hyre, Norma Pritt and Judy Stalnaker. Cliff learned how to be a hard worker at a very early age by helping with various chores on the family farm. He got his first job when he was just 11 in a grocery store. He later became a butcher when he was only 17. He retired in 2004 with nearly 38 years of service to Coca-Cola. He only retired due to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had a successful “whipple” procedure and beat it, which is extremely rare.
He also enjoyed singing and playing country and bluegrass music on the bass, guitar and fiddle. Cliff was a skilled carpenter and mechanic. He could fix just about everything.
Cliff’s request for cremation has been honored. His family will have a private Celebration of Life Service at a later date. Expressions of sympathy may be sent directly to the family at 193 Summit St. Weston, WV 26452.
The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Rd., in Jane Lew, is honored and privileged to serve the family of Clifford Sherman Vankirk. Online condolences may be expressed at www.patboylefuneralhome.com.