The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 18, 2013

Clifford Younger

GROVE, Okla. —   

Clifford Younger, 80, of Grove, Okla., passed away Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, after a short illness.

Cliff was born on Aug. 22, 1933, in Joplin, Mo., to Cleat and Dovie Younger. He served in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Europe during the Korean War.

On March 30, 1956, he married the former Willa Keen, of Joplin.

He had a long and distinguished career developing equipment and technologies for the space program, including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. Later, he developed guidance systems and flexible circuitry for America's defense systems and then went on to spend many years working in the civilian aerospace industry, building cables and harnesses for jet engines. Cliff moved from Joplin to Grove in 1980, with his wife, Willa. He retired from LaBarge Electronics in Joplin, after 30 years of service.

After retirement, Cliff had a great interest in preserving and protecting the water quality at Grand Lake 'O The Cherokees and served as a driving force in the Oklahoma Water Watch, where he recruited and trained many volunteers as water monitors. The models he devised for collecting and analyzing environmental data and water quality trends are now used by reservoir lakes across the country to protect, manage and restore water resources.

Cliff is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Dale and Lora Younger, of Grove; his daughter, Alice Younger Frank and son-in-law Eric Frank, of Austin, Texas; daughter, Terri Younger Miller and son-in-law, Douglas Miller, of Napa, Calif.; and his sister, Lorna Whittenback, of Joplin. He was preceded in death by his wife, Willa Keen Younger; his parents; and his two brothers, Wesley Younger and Larry Younger.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the Mason-Woodard Mortuary Chapel with Ken Pinney and Jim Holt officiating. Burial will follow in the Osborne Cemetery, Joplin. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the mortuary.

Arrangements under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.

Online condolences may be made at

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