Clifford J. Benfield, born in Mineola, N.Y., on the 4th of July, 1924, died peacefully at home in Southold, N.Y., on June 23, 2018, surrounded by his family.
A veteran of WW2, Cliff left college during his sophomore year to enlist in the U.S. Army and served as a lieutenant in the Philippines in 1944. After the war, he returned to Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., to complete his undergraduate work, earn a master’s degree in psychology, and graduate in 1948. While at Union, he met Eunice Ann Patrick, his future wife of 68 years, and they were married in 1949.
Cliff led a highly successful business career in personnel and human relations, beginning at Servo Corporation, in Mineola, NY. Over the course of the ensuing years, he served as Vice President at Columbia Records, Executive Vice President at CBS, The Lowes Corporation, American Express International Banking Corporation, and culminated his career as founder and president of Hay Career Consultants and partner of the Hay Group, all in New York City.
Throughout his life, Cliff was greatly admired by colleagues, friends and family. His advice and guidance on career as well as personal matters was often and regularly sought by all.
Outside of work, Cliff was always actively involved. He committed years of service both to Union College, where he served as a trustee, receiving the school’s highest alumni honor as gold medal recipient, and as a vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church in Roslyn, N.Y., where he was involved in numerous initiatives, including a building committee which greatly enhanced the church’s facilities, the benefits of which are still being enjoyed to this day.
An avid sailor and lifetime member of the New York Yacht Club, he and his wife moved to Southold, and made it their home since 1983. He was well known in the community for his work with Southold Historical Society and the restoration of the Horton Point Lighthouse, leading to the reinstallation of its light and official reactivation. Today, the lighthouse is one of Southold’s unique treasures and attractions. He was also actively involved with The Church of the Redeemer in Mattituck, N.Y.
Cliff was a remarkable man, who had a long life filled with many amazing experiences and events: being held by Charles Lindbergh as a 2 year old just before takeoff of the Spirit of St. Louis, growing up through the Great Depression, World War II in the Pacific, a storied executive career through dynamically changing decades in the business world, and an engaged retirement life since moving to Southold. Through all of this, he unfailingly put family and friends first. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered always.
Clifford is survived and missed by his wife, Eunice; his three sons and their wives: John and Maureen, of Port Washington, N.Y,; James and Lois, of Norwalk Conn.; and Daniel and Cynthia, of Mystic, Conn. He loved and was adored by his seven grandchildren: Jack, Peter, Ben, Katie, Annie, Teddy and Thomas, and their spouses; and by his great-grandchildren: Emily, Lillian, Caroline, Julia and James.
His wake will be held at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First Street, Greenport, N.Y., 11944, from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2018. A service of Christian Burial will be held at the Church of the Redeemer, 13225 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, N.Y., 11952 at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 28, 2018, with interment at the First Presbyterian Church, 53100 Main Road, Southold, N.Y., immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center ATTN: Emily Carter, 7th floor, 885 2nd Ave., N.Y., N.Y., 10017.
Arrangements are in the care of Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, Greenport, N.Y.
This is a paid notice.