As we witnessed a beautiful sunrise, Cliffe died peacefully at the age of 78 at North York General Hospital on December 20, 2018. He was surrounded at the time of his passing by his loving family - Mary, his wife of 49 1/2 years, and their children Catherine (Mark Thomas) and Daniel. Cliffe grew up in Oakville, ON, the third child of Lt. Col. Lafayette Henry Nelles and Catherine Radcliffe Nelles. He was pre-deceased by his half-sister Judith, his dear sister Caroline and his beloved parents-in-law Marshall Daniel Davis and Ruth Ringstad Davis. Cliffe will be missed by his sister Sandy and his brother Edward, sister-in-law Carole, his nephew Michael and niece Katie. He will also be warmly remembered by his sister-in-law Marsha (Barry Brooks), his niece Alexandra Ross (Brett Dunk), his nephew Marshall Ross and their extended families including Eva Wower, Declan and Nadia Ross.
Cliffe was educated at Appleby College and graduated from Huron College at University of Western Ontario. At Appleby, Cliffe was a prefect in his final year; he also excelled at many sports including boxing, basketball, and was the captain of the Appleby First Football team in 1959. Cliffe spent his entire career working for McLeod Young Weir (later Scotia McLeod), and retired as a Director in Government Finance after 37 years. Cliffe loved to travel with Mary to visit his children or with friends to explore different locales, often driven by his collector's spirit to expand his ever-growing assemblage of antiques (particularly wood boxes), Quimper pottery and marine art. Cliffe was also a devoted sports fan, watching all Toronto's teams avidly across many decades.
He will also be fondly remembered by his neighbours and his church community at St. John’s York Mills, where he was the host of a Bible study group and served as Warden, Eucharistic Minister and on many church committees. As another expression of his deep faith, Cliffe volunteered at Wycliffe College where he served as a long-time board member.
Despite, or perhaps because of the various challenging periods he faced throughout his life, Cliffe was happiest when surrounded by family and friends. Whether welcoming people into his home or joining other gatherings, he was effortlessly inclusive and always brought light and laughter into each room he entered. His generosity of spirit will not soon be forgotten.
Known as both a gentleman and a gentle man, Cliffe will be much missed.
Visitation will be held at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre on Friday, January 4 from 6 pm - 9 pm. Funeral will be held at St. John’s York Mills 19 Don Ridge Drive, Toronto on Saturday, January 5 at 1 pm with reception to follow. Please visit Cliffe’s memorial webpage at www.etouch.ca for extended service details and online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to St. John's York Mills.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Centres
375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON, CANADA, M4T 2V8
Friday, 4 Jan 2019 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Info: Please enter through the East Gate Entrance off of Mount Pleasant Road and follow the signs to the Funeral Centre.
St. John's York Mills
19 Don Ridge Drive, Toronto, ON, CANADA, M2P 1H3
Saturday, 5 Jan 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Info: St. John's phone number is: 416-225-6611 if needed.