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Dr. James L. Clifford 1925-2014

clifford001Dr. James L. Clifford, 89, of Paris, died at 3:22 am, Monday, June 30, 2014 at Paris Regional Medical Center.  A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, July 9th at Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home with Rev. John Burton officiating.  Ashes will be interred at Meadowbrook Gardens Cemetery.

James Lee Clifford was born in Chicago, Illinois, February 25, 1925 to Fred W. Clifford and Jewell Spencer Clifford.  When Jimmy was 2 years old, his mother moved back to her hometown, Paris, Tx.  He attended Paris Schools and graduated from Paris High School in 1942.  Jimmy did his Pre-Med study at the University of Texas at Austin, working in the cafeteria to pay his way.  During WWII, James Clifford was in the Navy as a Seaman 2nd Class, a Medical Corpsman on board the USS Okaloosa in the Atlantic and the Pacific.  When the war was over, he was honorably discharged and was accepted to Southwestern Medical School and graduated in 1950.  With his M.D. degree, Dr. Clifford’s internship was served at the Robert B. Green City County Hospital in San Antonio.  Dr. Clifford served in the Korean War as a Captain in the United States Air Force.  His residency was completed at McKinney V.A. Hospital and Baylor Hospital in Dallas.  In 1956, he established his private practice in Paris in diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology and was the radiologist for St. Joseph Hospital.  Among other hospitals, Dr. Clifford was also the radiologist for Hugo, Bonham, Greenville, and Mt. Pleasant. During the early years, he drove between the hospitals to cover them.  James Clifford established the first free-standing radiology center in the state of Texas.  His practice extended from northeast Texas to southeast Oklahoma.  He provided the first CT scanner for Paris, before such places as Baylor Hospital in Dallas had one.  Among other “firsts” for Paris, he provided the first cobalt machine, linear accelerator, and ultrasound machine in the extended Paris area. He also founded the first radiology technologist school in Paris.   Radiology Center of Paris and Magnetic Imaging of Paris, located on Loop 286, grew from what he first established.

Dr. Clifford was a long time member of First Christian Church, serving on the building committee and church board, also teaching Sunday school.  He was President of Lamar-Delta Medical Association, served two terms as President of the Medical Staff at St. Joseph, a member of Texas Medical Association, a Fellow in the American College of Radiology, and Past President of the American Cancer Society of Lamar County.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother and sister-in-law, Roy and Charlotte Clifford.  Dr. Clifford is survived by his wife of 67 years, Geraldine Toon Clifford; four children, District Judge Eric Clifford and wife, Melanie, Dr. Philip Clifford and wife, Dr. Yvette Clifford, Gail Parkhill and husband, Dr. Billy Parkhill; and Dr. Steven James Clifford and wife, Rebecca; twelve grandchildren, Amanda Davis, Janna Davis, Cameron Davis, Clifford James McCormick, Jessica Hackney and husband, Bryan, Sarah Clifford, Michael Clifford, Shannon Clifford, Zachary Clifford, Dr. Seth Clifford, Stephanie Spann and husband, Marty, and Benjamin Clifford; and two great-grandchildren, Isabella Davis and Everett James Hackney.

If desired, memorials may be made to First Christian Church of Paris, Texas, the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial; the Paris Public Library, NeTseO Trails Council Paris,  the American Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made to the Clifford family by visiting www.fry-gibbs.com

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