Clifford Francis Henes II, age 73, was born on June 30, 1947 in Flushing, New York to Anne and Clifford Francis Henes. He attended St. Luke's Grammar School followed by Holy Cross High School, where he graduated in three years (1964).
Cliff lived in the house in Queens where his mother was born and worked his way through Fordham University. At Fordham, he was in the business school with President Donald J. Trump and graduated with a degree in Finance (1968). During this time, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps (1966). After college, Cliff was commissioned as an Infantry Officer serving in the 3rd Battalion 26 Marines where he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and then completed two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Forced Reconnaissance Officer. Cliff was selected as one of 350 officers worldwide to attend the Army’s Armour School in Fort Knox, Kentucky to become a Tank and Amphibious Tractor Officer. In South Carolina, he also guarded the nuclear submarine base at Goose Creek, and was a Drill Instructor at Parris Island. His last duty station was Alameda CA where he was medically retired as a Captain in 1980. He had received numerous Commendation medals including the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and two Purple Hearts, but never talked about it. What was more important to him was talking about his comrades who sacrificed their lives.
In 1980, one of the Marine Reserve Officers asked Cliff to be the Controller of his trucking company in the Bay Area. One of his locations was in Selma, CA. Cliff relocated to Selma to run that operation and met Debbie to sell him a house in Sunnyside. This began their lifelong love for each other and helping others turn houses into homes. They married on August 16, 1987 and were blessed with raising Cliff's daughter, Julie and Debbie's son Barrett. They were also blessed to have two beautiful children, Brett and Tiffany Henes.
Cliff was a real estate broker for 30 years in a multi-generational family business and had been proudly associated with London Properties since 1994. He was very involved in Fresno Rotary, President of his Homeowners' Association, the force behind Barrett's Drowning Prevention Campaign, and still made time to coach his kids' sports teams. He was a man of compassion, integrity, and character whose calm demeanor was admired by all. He had a profound love of music and was quite a jokester. He taught his children 6 of the 7 P’s, Proper Prior Planning Prevents P….Poor Performance. Cliff was extremely punctual and respectful to all.
He travelled extensively worldwide with his family and loved his time at Bass Lake. Cliff and Debbie attended several reunions of his Marine Corps Basics School (I-69) in the last few years. He was honored to have been invited to attend a private ceremony celebrating his I-69 Class at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA. As a combat Marine, Cliff had fierce loyalty, pride and commitment to duty and service to this Country.
He is survived and missed by his soulmate and wife, Debbie Smades Henes; daughter, Julie Henes-Steynberg (Michael); granddaughter Taylor; great- granddaughter, Kasey, grandson; Austin. Son, Brett Henes and daughter, Tiffany Henes. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Helen Smades; sisters-in-law, Kathi Hintz, Patti Hutchins (Wade), Cindy Smades-Klein. Aunt Genny, Scott (Francine) Benish, Christopher (Matt) Benish, and Mark (Ray) Benish were his cherished nephews of his only sister, Irene. In addition, his many lifelong friends and most of all his best buddy Ace, a 7-pound Maltese.
He was preceded in death by his father, Clifford F. Henes; mother, Anne Henes; sister, Irene Crook; son, Barrett Smades Forrest.
There will be no service at this time, respecting the strict California COVID-19 guidelines.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Barrett Smades Forrect Drowning Prevention Fund, c/o Valley Children's Hospital Foundation, 9300 Children's Place, Madera, CA 93636 or the National Museum of the Marine Corps administered by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.
“Semper Fidelis”, the Marine Corps motto which is Latin for “always faithful”.
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Barrett Smades Forrest Drowning Prevention Fund
c/o Valley Children's Hospital Foundation, 9300 Children's Place, Madera CA 93636