COLUMBIA — Clifford Mack Caruthers died suddenly at his home in Columbia, MO, on August 27, 2012. He was 76. Born in Saffordville, KS, on December 19, 1935, to Clifford Maurice Caruthers and Anna Marie (Bridges) Caruthers, he spent his first six years in Saffordville, and remembered playing and listening to St. Louis Cardinals’ games on the radio at his uncles’ garage. After a stint in Wichita during WWII, the family relocated to Purdy, MO, and Mack (as he was known for most of his early life) lived on the small family farm until his graduation from Purdy High School in 1953. There his interest in sports, particularly baseball, thrived. To his parents’ chagrin, he also began bringing home stray cats and dogs, a habit he maintained into his later years.
Clifford Mack attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he played college ball until suffering a career-ending knee injury. He earned his B.A. in English in 1957, received his M.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1961, and returned to MU to earn his Phd in 1968. He also played semi-pro baseball during those years. During his academic career, Clifford edited three volumes of the correspondence of sports columnist and author Ring Lardner - Ring Around Max, Letters from Ring, and The Letters of Ring Lardner, and taught English Literature, specializing in British Romanticism, and Sports and Western Literature. In his later years, he published books of poems, a self-written book about “The Woodstock Avalanche,” and other booklets about Colorado, specifically Pitkin, CO, which he loved and visited often starting in 1965. This was through his own Marmot Press (www.marmotpress.org).
His teaching career included stints at Northern Illinois University (for 14 years), Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, University of Missouri-Columbia, William Woods University (Missouri), St. Bede Academy (Illinois), Garden City (Kansas) High School, Lathrop (Missouri) High School and Shawnee Mission (Kansas) High School. In addition, he worked for more than 20 years as a technical writer, mainly for Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, and the U.S. Department of Energy in Grand Junction, CO.
Clifford’s enthusiasm for baseball never waned, and he served as a baseball coach at Kishwaukee College, Garden City High School, and St. Bede Academy, and coached his children and grandchildren tirelessly. He was also an avid life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan. Clifford also owned horses for many years, overseeing his children while they rode and showed competitively in 4-H and the American Quarter Horse Association, as well as riding and competing on his own. In addition, he was a private pilot, and was part-owner of a Piper Cherokee, flying until disabled by failing eyesight.
He is survived by three children from his marriage to Donna Jacqueline (Jackie) Boin — Catherine Ann Caruthers McCray (Thomas) of Bolivar, MO, Clifford Boin Caruthers (Kristin) of Oakland, CA, and Cynthia Marie Newenhouse (George) of Garden City, MO; three sisters -- Carol Green of Columbia, MO, Karen Carter (J.C.) of Warrensburg, MO, and Sharon Miller of Ballwin, MO; as well as two grandchildren, Ethan Caruthers McCray and Aaron Rex McCray. His cremains were buried with his wife of 16 years, Linda Stolz Caruthers at Evergreen Cemetery in Louisville, KY, on September 4, 2012. Memorial donations to the Clifford Maurice and Anna Marie Caruthers Memorial Fund (University of Missouri-Columbia, Office of Development, Attn: Donor Relations, 306 Reynolds Alumni Center, Columbia, MO 65211-2100) or the Linda Stolz Caruthers and Clifford Mack Caruthers Scholarship Fund (Kishwaukee College, Attn: Marshall Hayes, 21139 Malta Road, Malta, IL 60150) are greatly appreciated.
Online tributes may be left at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.