Clifford was born in Drumheller on May 25, 1934. He lived the first few years of his life on the family farm, along with his parents, Emil and Anna Mammel, and his siblings, Dick, Elsie, Irene, Clarence, Emma and Walter, who died at a young age. He later lived in the Crossfield and Airdrie areas where he met Betty Hansen. They were married in 1958 and had three children within the first six years: Barry, then Lori, followed by Joni. Then 22 years later, they were blessed with the addition of Andrea to the family. The family grew to have 9 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Cliff was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, neighbour and friend.
After taking one year of Architectural Drafting at TECH (SAIT), he worked for various commercial construction companies. He then spent many years doing cement work with his brother-in-law, Kurt Schlender and friend Alvin Schlender. They poured foundations and floors for shops, garages and grain bins for many farmers in the Crossfield area. Other skills that Cliff had were a practical knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, welding, repairing machinery and painting.
Anyone who spent time working on a project with Cliff or viewed his workmanship, would agree that he was a perfectionist. He believed that anything worth doing, was worth doing well, and that it should be done right the first time. Anything he built was carefully planned, from fences, sheds, barns, and garages to coffee tables and cabinets.
Cliff and Betty purchased their farm in 1967. Cliff’s farming years included grain, hogs, range cattle, dairy cattle, and ostriches. He won many awards for his dairy operation. Cliff had a strong work ethic. He was willing to work hard for long hours and didn’t require praise or recognition. He was always ready and willing to help others. As acreages developed around the farm, he helped the new neighbours with everything from planting trees, fencing, animal care and haying. Cliff enjoyed sharing his farm with others, and often conducted tours of the dairy and ostrich facilities.
Cliff was a quiet and humble person. He preferred to be the one working in the background and was more comfortable in a small familiar group than in a large gathering. He was even-tempered and uncomplaining. He took difficulties in stride, whether it was hailstorms, crop failures, animal deaths, machinery breakdowns, or financial struggles. Cliff never spoke much about his beliefs, but he expressed them by how he lived.
Cliff enjoyed working with his farm animals, especially the horses he had over the years. He taught their pony to pull a cart that he had built and he spent many hours helping his kids get ready for parades, 4-H events, and trail rides. He trained his horse, King, to be an excellent cattle and trail horse. He later enjoyed riding a beautiful palomino, named Tara, who became a special companion.
Cliff used his 4-wheeler a lot on the farm and would recently talk in the Bethany about needing to get it or fix it.
Cliff found pleasure sitting at the kitchen window, watching the wildlife in the coulee. His binoculars were always close by so he could spot the deer, moose, or coyotes. He liked watching the hawks, swallows or other birds in flight, as well as seeing the first robins in the spring. He built bird houses and put them on the fence posts so he could enjoy the bluebirds nesting. Cliff always looked for the first crocuses of the season to pick a bouquet for Betty and brought in lilacs when they bloomed.
Cliff didn’t have a lot of leisure time, but he did take up a few hobbies such as Artex painting with Betty and leatherwork. He enjoyed snowmobiling with friends and going to Rosebud Dinner Theatre, World Adventure Tours, Cowboy Music and Poetry Festivals, and Rodeos at the Hand Hills Stampede, Airdrie and Crossfield. He had good memories from trips to Hawaii, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, and several road trips.
Cliff was never interested in watching hockey or football on TV, except if his dad was staying with them, when he would even watch wrestling. He also watched some games in later years with his son-in-law Nick. He watched The Wonderful World of Disney with the family, figure skating competitions with Betty, and westerns. Cliff would patiently brush tangles out of the girls’ hair, untangle necklace chains, or remove stubborn splinters.
Cliff faithfully attended church and enjoyed his small group Bible study.
In his retirement days, Cliff could be found mowing lawns, helping with the garden, reading, watching TV, and doing word searches. He took on new roles, willingly helping Betty with the vacuuming or drying the dishes.
Family was very important to Cliff. He was very proud of his own family: his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. He was a good role model in how he always treated Betty with respect and kindness.
Cliff always dressed in western clothing, complete with cowboy boots and hat, and usually wore a vest. He always had a notebook and pen tucked into his shirt pocket.
Cliff had prostate cancer for many years. In his later years, he suffered with Parkinson’s Disease. As the Parkinson’s progressed, he moved into the Bethany Care Centre in Airdrie in 2017, where he spent the last years of his life. Cliff passed away on April 29, 2020, at the age of 85. He will be so thankful to have a heavenly body now as he awaits his family and friends to join him in eternal paradise.
The family would like to express their thanks to the staff at the Bethany Care Centre for their kindness and compassion.
Donations in Cliff’s memory can be made to the Parkinson Association of Alberta.
Just found out that Cliff has passed away. My condolences to Betty and the whole family. Cliff was a kind and steadfast, godly man. I appreciated talking with he and Betty over the years. He is at peace and with the Lord. Prayers for his family as you adjust to his absence.
He sounds like a wonderful man. I wish I could have met him. Carol Mammel, Chilliwack BC Otto and Evellyn Mammel
Our deepest condolences to Betty and the whole Mammel family. Cliff was a true gentleman and I also enjoyed his presence. Paul H
So Sorry for the loss of this special man,to the family of Clifford Mammel,husband,father,grandfather,great grandfather,and friends will live on with I am sure many wonderful memories ....heartfelt condolences
So very sorry for your loss. Condolences being sent from the Grandchildren of the Fred Mammel family.
Sincere sympathy to the family. Cliff will be sadly missed.
So sorry for your loss,I would often talk a little with Cliff when I went in to Bethany to visit my mother who was just a few doors away, farming was always the topic.
Our deepest condolences to Betty and all the family on your loss of Cliff. I always appreciated his patience and gentle mannerisms. Keep the memories close to your heart and he will always be there. We are thinking of you at this difficult time.
We are so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in our thoughts.