Clifford Faeth – Devoted husband of 64 years to the late Jean Faeth; Loving father of Karen (Larry) Hoopes and David (Michele) Faeth; Beloved grandfather of Nathaniel (Carolyn), Jason (Kathryn), Lauren (Enrique), Brendan, Nicholas, Trevor and Collin; Cherished great-grandfather of Brian, Hailey, Brandon, Emily and Benjamin. Cliff passed away Monday, August 27, at the age of 95.
Cliff was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 23, 1922. He was the youngest child of Christian and Amelia Buschman Faeth. His mother’s parents, William and Emma Buschman, had both come from Germany, and his father Christian had actually been born in Germany and had come to the United States at the age of two. Cliff remembers his parents conversing in German, and he and his siblings called their maternal grandparents Großmom and Großpop, which is the German manner of saying Grandma and Grandpa. Cliff’s father was a tool and die maker and his mother was a cleaning lady. Cliff had two older brothers and three older sisters. The family home, known as “The Farm,” was on Taylor Road. Cliff attended a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-3. For fourth through eighth grades, Cliff went to Dent School, and he attended classes for the four following years at Taylor High School. Cliff graduated from high school in 1940. After graduation, Cliff learned the bricklaying trade. He was interested in continuing his education, so he went to night school at the University of Cincinnati for a while, but found working during the day and going to school at night very difficult so he discontinued his classes. Cliff began as a bricklayer in 1942. His first assignments were on the Crosley and Johns Manville plants in Richmond, Indiana, and, later, on the Sharonville Depot of the U.S. Government’s General Service Administration.
World War II interrupted his career. Cliff was drafted, and served with the XV Air Force as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator. His crew flew bombing raids over German marshalling yards and fuel depots. On Christmas Day, 1944, Cliff’s plane was shot down and he and his crew were captured near Innsbruck, Austria. As he was parachuting from the damaged plane, Cliff was struck by the beautiful view of the mountains and decided that someday he would like to return to enjoy that setting. Cliff’s thoughts also centered on his crew members that he feared had gone down with the plane and his concern with his capture.
To his great surprise and relief, Cliff was reunited with his crew members at a POW camp in Nuremburg. There was little food to eat, and the conditions at the camp were poor. In April, the prisoners were marched about 100 miles south to Stalag VII-A in Moosburg. Cliff remained in that POW camp until Patton’s army liberated the camp on April 29, 1945. Cliff was discharged from the Air Force in 1945, and he returned to the bricklaying trade. One day, Cliff was riding in the back seat of a friend’s car. The friend was on his way to pick up his sister. As the friend was driving down the street, he eyed his cousin walking along and stopped to ask her if she wanted a ride. She accepted the ride, and waved a casual hello to Cliff as her cousin introduced her to Cliff. The friend’s cousin was Jean Focke, and she and Cliff were married on November 27, 1947. When Jean passed on in 2012 at the age of 90, she and Cliff had been very happily married for almost 65 years. Cliff has two children, Karen and David, 6 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, three great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters. Cliff and Jean lived on Jessup Road in White Oak for about 58 years in a house that Cliff built with Jean’s help. As a bricklayer, Cliff had his hand in the construction of many Cincinnati buildings, including the Lodge and Shipley plant, the Ford plant in Fairfax, the Terrace Hilton, many schools, churches, hospitals, U.C.’s McMicken Hall, the Western Electric Building in Woodlawn, and even…Llanfair! In time, Cliff was elected to be the Financial Secretary and Treasurer of Local 18 Bricklayer, Terrazzo Mosaic and Tilelayers Union. The position took him from construction sites to a full-time office position, where he managed five different checking accounts, carried on all correspondence for the local, worked on the arbitration board, helped members file for pensions and workman’s compensation, and filed claims for mortuary benefits for deceased members. After retirement, Cliff found it difficult to remain less active than he had been for so many years. He took a part-time job making deliveries for a local florist to ease the transition to retirement. Both Cliff and Jean were members of
the OKI POW group for many years, and made many close friends through that organization, some of whom are fellow Llanfair residents to this day. Cliff and Jean had been members of College Hill Presbyterian Church since the late 1960’s, so moving to Llanfair Retirement Community near the area where they had lived and attended church for so long was a comfortable transition for them! Cliff will be missed by all who knew him.
Visitation will be held from 9:30 am to 11:00 am Saturday, September 1, at the chapel at Ohio Living Llanfair, 1701 Llanfair Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45224. A funeral service will begin at 11:00 am following visitation. Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Alzheimer's Association / Greater Cincinnati Chapter
644 Linn St. Suite 1026, Cincinnati OH 45203-1742
Charity of Donor's Choice