Clifford L. Sterrett ’66

Clifford Loucks Sterrett, 76, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 2, 2023, with his loving family by his side after a long illness. He was the devoted husband of Barbara (Blaisdell) Sterrett for 51 years this August. Born January 28,1947 in New Haven; the son of the late Harold Reid Sterrett, Jr., and Elizabeth “Betty” (Loucks) Sterrett.

Cliff attended Williston Academy, Class of 1966, in Easthampton, MA and graduated from Drew University, Class of 1970, in Madison, New Jersey. At Williston, Cliff was an outstanding varsity athlete who was twice elected to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame for football and lacrosse.

He then worked from 1971 – 1975, being an instrumental part of the Thomas J. Meskill gubernatorial campaign both as Assistant Campaign Manager and then, once elected, one of several Administrative Assistants to the Governor.

In 1975, Cliff served as an Insurance Agent for Northwestern Mutual, then founder and Managing Director of the Northwestern Mutual Office in Canton from 1978 – 2015. He had much success in this office, mentored many individuals, helped countless clients and enjoyed working with fellow agents for many years especially his brother and business colleague, Rollie Sterrett.

Cliff had a passion for politics and once again served as Campaign Manager in the 1986 Republican nominated Julie Belaga gubernatorial campaign. She was the first woman ever nominated and won the Republican primary by a landslide with Cliff’s guidance.

He enjoyed snow skiing, water skiing and boating. He always dreamed of doing these things with his grandsons. While that dream changed, he still treasured spending time with them and hearing of them carrying on these interests, along with football and lacrosse. He was an avid golfer and loved socializing with friends. Cliff was also a loyal Green Bay Packers fan along with UCONN Men’s and Women’s Basketball and football. He had season tickets for many years. Cliff would often be found relishing a sunny day, with the top down, driving his red TR6 British sports car.

Cliff was very civic minded and was actively involved in his communities of both New Hartford and Sunapee, NH. In New Hartford he served as Chair of the Republican Town Committee. He treasured this role because he loved leading his community and he represented the Republican party with great enthusiasm. While he believed deeply in the party’s agenda, he welcomed educated debate with those who disagreed with him and always did so in a positive manner. Friendship and values always came first during his leadership. He also served as a two term President of the Granliden Community Association in Sunapee, NH where he had a second home. He treasured the Annual Memorial Day Golf Tournament and befriended the General Manager and treasured his fellow community members. He and his wife loved spending time with family and friends in New Hampshire whether winter or summer.

Despite Cliff’s illness, he worked hard to continue a life full of vibrancy and activity. His loving and devoted wife, Barbara, helped him to follow through on these wishes. Even before Cliff’s illness, they were always together and loyally committed to each other’s hopes and dreams.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his beloved daughter, Melissa Massett and admired son-in-law Kevin of Newtown; two cherished grandsons, Charles Massett and William “Billy” Massett, both of Newtown; loving brother Rollie Sterrett ’61 and wife Karen of Simsbury; sister-in-law, Carol Slauenwhite of Southington; several dear nieces and nephews; Kimberly (Sterrett) Ragnow of Guilford, Reid Sterrett ’91 of Farmington, Andy Yorkin of Salt Lake City, UT, and Tim Yorkin of Belmont, MA. He was predeceased by niece Korey Yorkin of Simsbury. Lastly, he is survived by his long-time best friend, Starr Barnum IV, his wife Deborah, and many other close knit friends.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Valerie Manor as well as his special aides at home over the last few years, for their care and kindness during his illness, especially Michelle Schmitt and Jaimie (Bennett) Sulek.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 8. 2023 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 51 Church Street N, New Hartford at 11 AM. Montano-Shea Funeral Home, 5 Steele Road, New Hartford has care of arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to: Office of Advancement, The Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027 or to: Valerie Manor Resident Council Fund, Attn: Tracy Hoskins, 136 Torringford Street, Torrington, CT 06790.

2 thoughts on “Clifford L. Sterrett ’66”

  1. Cliff will be well remembered as an outstanding member of the class of 66. I played football and lacrosse with Cliff and always appreciated his dedication and sense of fair play. Kudos to his family and close friends for making his life so meaningful after his accident. Sincerely,

  2. Classmate from CT and talented athlete and student leader, never a doubt that Cliff would be so successful and popular. Our student body was stronger because of Cliff and a cadre of respected upper classmen as well. Huge life cut short but blessed by his many contributions and relationships. Will be missed.

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