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CGF Mourns the Loss of a Dear Friend, Chief R. Angelo Cleffi, USCG (Ret).

The staff of the Coast Guard Foundation have heavy hearts today after we learned of the passing of one of our beloved directors, CPO R. Angelo Cleffi, USCG (Ret.) – simply "Chief" to all who knew and loved him. Chief Cleffi passed away at his home earlier this month after a brief illness.

Chief has been a part of our Foundation family since 2000, having been recruited to the organization by the late CAPT Carlton "Gene" Russell, USCGR (Ret). Chief considered Captain Russell to be his mentor and friend, and together, with other board members in Southern California, faithfully organized and coordinated the Southern California Scholarship Golf Tournament, which significantly contributed to our ability to fund scholarships for children of enlisted members.

There are currently plans for two memorials for Chief Cleffi. One in California, and another in New Jersey, his home state, where he'll be laid to rest. For more information about these services, please contact the Coast Guard Foundation at (860) 536-0786.

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The enlisted corps, and their families, were of the utmost importance to Chief, and he tirelessly advocated for them through our programs and projects. In 2009, Chief represented the Foundation at the memorial service for the seven Coast Guard members who perished in the crash of CG-1705 and at the memorial service for Senior Chief Terrell Horne III in 2012.

Chief was very proud of his Coast Guard service. In early October 2012 he traveled to Hawaii for the decommissioning of the Coast Guard Cutter JARVIS. It's a ship Chief knew well, having served as part of the original commissioning crew 40 years earlier. All told, 21 of the original crew were in attendance, as well as 30 other crew members from later tours.

Chief had a long career in the Coast Guard and is survived by his wife, Suzy, who was often by his side helping with the golf tournament and accompanying Chief at events all across the country.

He will be missed by all of us, and in particular, the staff in Stonington holds him close to their hearts; Chief called at least once a week to check in with them, and sent funny greeting cards for all major (and minor) holidays, and dropped postcards in the mail from wherever he was traveling.

We put together a small photo album of some of his greatest moments captured on film, but anyone who spent time with Chief will most likely remember him for his boisterous voice, and the enthusiasm with which he sang all patriotic songs, Semper Paratus in particular. He will always be a part of the fabric of the Coast Guard Foundation.

As Chief would say – Mahalo. Rest in peace, Chief Cleffi.

Monday, August 18th, 2014
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Westminster Memorial Park & Mortuary
14801 Beach Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683

Memorial Service
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
11:00 AM
Los Alamitos Joint Training Center
11206 Lexington Drive
Los Alamitos, Ca 90720
Main Gate- Hanger 3
**I.D REQUIRED For Entry**

Reception to follow
Seal Beach Navy Golf Course
5660 Orangewood Ave
Cypress, Ca 90630

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Bermingham Funeral Home
216 S Main St, Wharton, NJ 07885

Memorial Service
Friday, 10:00 AM, August 22, 2014
Wharton Community Church
20 Church St, Wharton, NJ 07885

Picatinny Arsenal
Route 15 North
Rockaway Township, NJ 07885

**I.D. REQUIRED For Entry**
Must submit name for guest list: Email To: rangelocleffi@gmail.com

Comments (12)

  1. A hui hou kakou Kaikaina God looked around his garden And found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, And saw your smiling face. He put his arms around you And lifted you to rest. God’s Guardian must be beautiful, He always takes the best. It broke our hears to lose you But you did not go alone. For part of us went with you. The day God called you home. “Rest in Peace, Angelo, and know that the time we shared with you and your family and friends, will live in our hearts forever” Aloha Nui Loa Lopaka
  2. I am so very, very sad to hear of Chief's passing... I was a baby SK3 in the Coast Guard when I met Chief Cleffi for the first time (we were both stationed together in Honolulu in the early 90's). He was a wonderful mentor, with that odd sense of humor that brought down the house. Chief, fair winds and following seas... You will be dearly missed... I am so sad today.... Diana J. Wickman, LCDR, USCG (ret)
  3. I worked directly with the Chief for almost 6 years and indirectly for 2 more. He was a great employee and made my time in California memorable. I remember his organization of the Golf tournament well. His loss is shocking. Thank you for sharing these moments. He will be sorely missed by one and all who knew him. My condolences , thoughts and prayers to his family.
  4. Well said Diana. We all have fond memories of Chief and his wife Suzy. They were an integral part of the crew and so sincere and funny together. They contributed so much on and off duty. A sad day indeed. Sincerely, Mary Landry, RADM (ret)
  5. ...just heart broken to hear of Chief's passing. A bright star has faded from this world far too soon. Sending my deepest sympathy to his beloved wife Suzy, who we will keep in our thoughts and prayers during this sad time.
  6. I got to know Angelo during our four years together at MLCPAC... We traveled many, many places together... I've got a ton of great Angelo stories, just not enough room here... I will never forget his loud and boisterous way... Nobody had a bigger heart... Although we've lost touch over the years, Diana and I will certainly miss Angelo... Last time I remember seeing Angelo was in Hawaii in the early 90's when he and Suzy were over for a barbecue... Suzy, we are so sorry for your loss... We will all miss Angelo... Fair Winds & Following Seas my friend...
  7. We sincerely send our condolences to the family of Chief Robert Cleffi /Bobby He was our friend and our classmate at DHS class of 71. He was fun and a friend to all. We had a lot of good times. It has been a while since we seen him but we will never forget his smile.
  8. I have known Chief Cleffi for 25 yrs as a friend first and then a colleague at APM Terminals! He and his wife Suzy and I have enjoyed many a BBQ together! He always had a way of bringing life into the room, by one of his jokes or just one of his laughing Hello's. He always had a smile for everyone as did everyone for him. It didn't matter what kind of day you were having he'd manage to make you laugh. He will be greatly missed! Suzy I Love You! Call if you need anything miss you!
  9. REST IN. PEACE...BOSS!! Aloha Richie Vasselle
  10. I've know Angelo since the late 70's and always had great times with him. Then he married Suzy and I knew he had a perfect partner. There were periods of time when I wouldn't talk to or see them but I always enjoyed the times we had together. It's always a shame when somebody dies you wish you had spent more time with them. That is the case with Angelo. He left us too soon. I will miss my gout brother, his wonderful smile and infectious laughter.
  11. I am still very much in shock that the Lord has taken him from his family and friends! My Dad was an AMAZING man and he will forever be LOVED+MISSED by me and his grandson Lil Angelo, along with many others I'm sure. May you SHINE up there as you did down here Dad.... :)
  12. So sorry to learn of Angelo's passing...both he & Suzy were co-workers & dear friends at MSO Honolulu during the early 90's. He was a friendly, outgoing, professional Coast Guardsman with a commanding voice & a positive outlook! With our warm Aloha for Suzy & family...may God comfort you during this time of loss, Keith (& Carole) Moll, CDR, USCG (ret)