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John Clifford Sease

John Clifford Sease

John Clifford Sease of Saluda passed away Saturday, March 29, 2014, at the Elizabeth House following a lengthy illness.

John was born Jan. 25, 1941, in Savannah, Ga., the son of the late Ralph Epting and Nellie Jones Sease. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Frances Sease Shannon.

John spent much of his youth in Florida, graduating from Dunnellon High School in Dunnellon, Fla. He is a 1963 graduate of the University of Florida where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Upon college graduation he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a ground officer at MCA Beaufort, S.C., after which he went to NAS Pensacola, Fla., and NAS Glynco, Ga., for flight training as a Naval Flight Officer. John, a combat veteran, flew F-4 Phantoms during two tours of duty in Vietnam and then returned to MCAS Beaufort. He had tours of duty in Pensacola, Fla., Quantico, Va., and Japan. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1989, after 26 years service, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

John greatly enjoyed the out of doors, was an avid hunter and fisherman, and was a collector of Indian artifacts and Civil War memorabilia. He will be most remembered, however, as a courageous and patriotic American, devoted husband, father, grandfather and a loyal friend. One of his oldest friends, a fraternity brother and fellow Marine, described John as "The most moral, kindest and best person I have known... and deserves eternal peace and happiness in Heaven." He was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Saluda.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 48 years, the former Sarah Margaret Mannheim, of Saluda, and their two daughters, Sarah Sease Hoffman of San Diego, Calif., and Ellen Sease Thompson of Raleigh; sons-in-law USMC Lt. Colonel Joel M. Hoffman and Brian T. Thompson; grandchildren Riley Caroline Hoffman, Thomas Mastin Hoffman, Katherine Hayes Thompson and Cameron Rhys Thompson. Other survivors include numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and his precious dog Boo.

A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Saluda at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Saluda, the Saluda Senior Center, or Four Seasons, Compassion for Life, Elizabeth House in Hendersonville.

The family wishes to express its gratitude for the kindness of caregiver Marie Petersen of Saluda and acknowledge the exceptional compassion shown by Dr. Margaret Noel and the staff of Memory Care, Asheville.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd &Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.