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Fred Ellis Cliburn

Giving a final salute to a life well-lived, Fred Ellis Cliburn Jr. passed away on Feb. 12, 2022 in Laurel. Fred was born on July 5, 1929, in Copiah County to Fred Ellis Cliburn and Vera Bearden Cliburn and spent the next 92 plus years traveling the world, serving his country, raising his family, pursuing several careers, and enjoying various leisure activities.
After high school and further education at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Fred continued a long family tradition of military service by enlisting in the United States Navy and serving his country for 23 years before retiring with a rank of senior storekeeper chief petty officer. His military career led him to duty posts in San Diego, Jacksonville, Milton, Pensacola, the Philippines, and finally to Memphis, Tenn. After active Naval retirement, Fred and the family moved to Orlando, Fla., where he continued to serve in the Navy Reserves while pursuing a second career at the newly opened Disney World.
Upon his full Naval retirement, Fred and the family bought a home and moved to Pearl in 1973, where he began his third career with the U.S. Postal Service. He and his wife later moved to the Langford Farms subdivision in Northeastern Rankin County, where they built their retirement home with ample area for planting many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Fred used his good health during his retirement years to enjoy the outdoors, spending many hours hunting, fishing, gardening, and traveling.
Fred met his future wife, Austine, while on leave from the Navy in Jackson, and they married on Sept. 12, 1952, spending 64 years together before her death in 2016. They had three sons, Mark Alan, Patrick Edwin, and Billy Dean, all born on military posts while Fred was serving in the Navy.
Fred was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Austine Freeman Cliburn; one son, Patrick Edwin Cliburn; his parents; one brother, Edwin Cliburn; and one sister, Louise Myers.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Linda Cliburn, of Oviedo, Fla.; son and daughter-in-law, Billy and Wylene Cliburn, of Laurel; daughter-in-law, Cathy Cliburn; grandchildren, Mark Alan Cliburn Jr. (Sierra), Lindsey Cliburn Murphy (Kevin), and Matthew Austin Cliburn (Elizabeth); several great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Kate Thomas and Janis Watts; brothers-in-law, Beaufort Myers and John Watts; and numerous extended family members and friends.
A funeral service was held Feb. 16 at Stringer Funeral Home, Hazlehurst. Burial followed at Hazlehurst City Cemetery.