He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Sarah Bernhardt; his sons, Charles and wife Cindy, and Lyle and wife Dr. Christina Murphey; and four grandchildren.
Cliff commenced college at Southwestern Institute of Technology in Weatherford. He received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Oklahoma in 1952 and his M.S. in 1957. In 1953 he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Wisconsin, a battleship that served as the flagship of the Seventh Fleet Commander. The Navy became Cliff’s second career when he was recalled to active duty in 1968 to serve three years in the Panama Canal Zone, followed by three years as the USNLO where he served as the American Consul in Gibraltar, British Crown Colony. There he also served on the British Admiral’s NATO staff and had diplomatic and liaison duties with the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force (RAF).
Cliff’s primary career was in Oil & Gas. Starting with R.M. Lawrence in Ardmore in 1958, Cliff then joined B.G. Barby in Oklahoma City in 1964 and formed Barby-Murphey Gas Reports. In 1975, he went to work for Pennzoil in Houston, Texas. In 1983, he established his own company, Shenandoah Land and Exploration Corporation in Houston.
Cliff retired from both the Navy and Oil & Gas in 1994. Each year thereafter, Cliff rotated between his homes in Houston and in the mountains of Ruidoso, N.M.
Cliff was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, as well as in the Church of Scotland where he was invited to address the General Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a life member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists; a life member of the Schulenburg, Texas VFW; a member of the AUSN; and served on the Board of University of Oklahoma’s School of Geology. He was dedicated to his family and his two careers. He will be sorely missed, but remembered by all who knew him.
A family graveside service will be held Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. in the Platte City, Mo. Cemetery on what would have been his 82nd birthday.