By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — If Clifford Douglas Hamilton Jr. wasn’t making a classmate bust out with laughter, then he could be found listening to R&B, pop, rap, anything with a beat.
Clifford suffered from two brain tumors and diabetes, yet he never complained. He constantly joked around and enjoyed being a kid. Clifford died this past month, but even in his last days, he never complained.
“Sometimes he looked like he might cry, but he never did. He just amazed me. I have to keep it together now because I know if he saw me crying or moping, he’d say, ‘Mama, come on now,’” said Vernica Laster, Clifford’s mother.
Clifford’s family created a memorial fund at BancFirst that is open for donations to help pay for funeral expenses. The funeral was March 15 and full of family and friends who will never forget Clifford’s smile and upbeat attitude.
Clifford is the son of Clifford Douglas Hamilton Sr., as well as Laster, and the brother of LaShaye Hamilton.
Clifford was a fifth-grader at Kennedy Elementary School in Mrs. McFerron’s class. He loved OU and the Thunder, as well as playing basketball, riding his bike and clowning around. Robyn Weiser, Kennedy Elementary school counselor, said his smile lit up the school hallways and he was a friend to everyone.
“No one didn’t like him,” Weiser said. “He always pulled for the underdog.”
Laster said Clifford’s favorite part of school was probably the food because he loved to eat, and after that, he loved socializing.
Clifford also could be described as talkative. Laster said he loved to tell her about his school day for an hour or so every day.
“He’d come home and say, ‘Mama, guess what!?!’” his mother said.
When Clifford had to miss school due to illness, kids would constantly ask where he was.
“Several kids had to go home when they heard about Clifford’s passing,” Weiser said. “We had extra counselors on staff. He touched a lot of lives.”
Kennedy Elementary will honor Clifford with a page dedicated to him in the yearbook. Additionally, the fifth grade plans to complete a service project with any funds raised to benefit Camp Cavett in Clifford’s name.
Camp Cavett is a free camp at Lake Texoma for any child between the ages of 10-18 who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness. Camp Cavett brings children together who are in similar situations so they can bond and have fun. Laster said her son attended the camp three years in a row and absolutely loved it.
After Clifford passed away, Camp Cavett sent Laster a memorial video with photos, texts and video clips of Clifford’s time at the camp. While viewing the video with Weiser, Laster teared up and said the video was special because it expressed Clifford’s happy spirit so well.
To donate to the memorial fund, call or go to any BancFirst and ask about the Clifford Hamilton Jr. Benefit Fund, Account No. 0393005416.
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