Clifton Nelson Duval, age 89, passed away peacefully on February 5, 2018 at Carver Living Center in Durham, NC. A kindhearted man, Clif was known for his easygoing personality and his gentleness. His positive outlook on life and calm nature could be felt by anyone around him. Those who were fortunate enough to know him and love him were truly blessed.
Clif was born January 30, 1929 in Canton, to Marion (Combs) Duval and Clifton J. Duval. He had two sisters, Jeanette Duval and JoAnn (Duval) Matthews. He graduated from Canton High School in 1947 and then from Canton State School (now Canton College of Technology) in 1949 with an Associate Degree in Chemistry. Since he was a young boy, Clif knew chemistry was the field of study he wanted to pursue. He enjoyed a career as an Industrial Chemist with Jones & Laughlin (J&L) Steel Company at Benson Mines iron ore mine in Star Lake. He retired when the company closed in the late 1970’s and was always thankful he had the good fortune of truly enjoying his life's occupation. Clif did additional work in his spare time including portrait photography, repairing televisions in people’s homes and computer consulting services. He enjoyed teaching and was a substitute teacher for elementary and high school grades at Clifton-Fine Central School in Star Lake, and later in life he tutored adult students with Literacy Volunteers in Potsdam.
He was an avid reader from an early age and explored the world through books as he grew up. He had a fondness for learning many subjects including French, Latin and history which was a lifelong favorite. Clif enjoyed being a Boy Scout Leader when his son was young. He was always proud of his troop and celebrated the accomplishments of each of his scouts. Music was always a part of his life and he took pleasure in listening to every form of it, from classical to rock & roll. He learned to play the piano as an adult which led to his playing the organ in his church. He was active in the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Star Lake and Zion Episcopal Church in Colton, NY. He was also a member of the St. Lawrence District of the Free and Accepted Masons. Clif was a master chess player and played the game with people all over the world. He loved to take long walks and did so often. Spending time in the outdoors, wandering through the woods and appreciating the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains were always pastimes Clif delighted in. Although he enjoyed a variety of endeavors and interests throughout his life, Clif’s greatest joy was the time he spent with his children.
In 1984 he married Laura (Simpson) Duval. Throughout his midlife and later years, Clif’s life revolved around his love for Laura and hers for him. They lived in Star Lake, Colton and Chase Mills in NY and later relocated to North Carolina where they quickly discovered the pleasures of experiencing only occasional snowfalls and an abundance of warm and sunny weather. His little poodle Leah was his adored “baby” during the past 10 years. Spending quality time with his family and his dogs and cats brought him much pleasure late in life.
He is survived by his wife, Laura; his children from a previous marriage – Vicki Duval of Rochester, Mark Duval and wife Debbie of Rochester, and Vincent Duval of California; as well as his grandchildren, great grandchildren, a great-great grandchild and nieces and nephews.
There will be no funeral or calling hours. A private gathering of family and friends to celebrate Clif’s life will take place at a later time.
For those wishing to make a donation in his memory, please consider a gift to the St. Lawrence Valley SPCA at 6718 State Highway 68, PO Box 594, Ogdensburg, NY.