The Rev. Dr. Clifford A. Comfort, priest of several Episcopal churches in Southwest Florida for more than 40 years, died Tuesday after being injured in a fall on Fort Myers Beach a week earlier. He was 94 years old and at the time of death was residing on Fort Myers Beach.
Born in 1918, Father Comfort enlisted in World War II briefly before being called out of military service to serve his country as an airplane mechanic, having worked for Pan American World Airways before the war. Following the war he dedicated his life to the Episcopal Church and completed his studies at Nashota House in Wisconsin. Raised in Miami, he was a graduate of the University of Miami and an avid fan of the Miami Hurricanes football team.
Father Comfort became the priest of St. Raphael's Church on Fort Myers Beach in 1962. After retirement he served congregations on Pine Island, in North Fort Myers and Immokalee.
Rev. Clifford A. Comfort
Throughout his life Father Comfort stayed active outside the church as a beekeeper, commercial fisherman and gardener. He enjoyed a sense of humor and was a familiar image on Fort Myers Beach in church clericals and bright red Budweiser suspenders. He named the honey he canned and sold "Southern Comfort Honey".
One of his proudest moments came when Nashota House presented him with an honorary doctorate degree.
Father Comfort's door was always open to those in need.
He is survived by daughters, Catherine Hilliard of Clewiston; and Grace Workman ( Joe) of Fort Myers Beach; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two wives, Lorraine Reed Comfort and Anna Lee Polk Comfort; and one son, Clifford A Comfort Jr.
Services will be conducted by Bishop Dabney Smith at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church at 2635 Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Raphael's Episcopal Church, 5601 Williams Drive, Fort Myers Beach.