Dennis "Denny" Clifford (1939-2009)


Dennis "Denny" Clifford (1939-2009)


Dennis Clifford, 1939-2009

The gun is the "family musket" originally owned by Jonathan Aldrich, George Aldrich's great grandfather's brother.

Photo with oxen and cart is from Granville's 1976 Bicentennial Celebration Parade. Dennis Clifford is driving Joe Dickinson's team of oxen. In the cart are Sharon Benton Goode, Jeannie Blakesley Pinney and Ed Benton.


Dennis George Clifford, 70, of East Albany VT and formally a long time resident of Granville MA died on Sunday March 29.

Born February 27 1939 to Dennis F and Leona (Aldrich) Clifford, he grew up in Granville and for a short time in Westfield MA.

Denny, as he was known to his friends and family, attended the West Granville School, The Granville Village School, and Westfield High School. He joined the US Navy at 17 and traveled the world for the next four years. Denny learned to play the fiddle at 9 years old and in the Navy became a talented banjo player as well. He also played guitar.

In 1970 He married Donna Blakesley and they together, were known locally as a popular musical duo and also were involved in various bands. Together they ran the Granville Banjo and Fiddle contest for the benefit of the Granville Fire Department.

Denny held jobs at many local business’ including Jensen’s Apple Orchard, The Drum Shop, Wackerbarth’s Box Shop, Sussmann’s Farm, and Agway. He worked as a machinist for a time as well. He also had a logging carreer on and off through out his lifetime including using draft horses to skid the logs.

Denny’s favorite job was farming. He often grew large vegetable crops and always had a barn full of animals, he was also successful at training oxen, a lost art these days. Denny moved to Northern VT in 1986.There he made many friends and continued to make merry with his musical talent, most recently with the ‘Bobbin Mill’ folks.

Denny leaves behind his daughters, Darcy Cooley and her husband Jay of Tolland and Julie Clifford of Granville. He also leaves his grandchildren Michael, Craig, and Morgan Cooley all of Tolland and his sister Kathleen Clifford Ivory of Lompoc California and her Children John Ivory of Arlington, VA and Bridget Ivory of San Francisco, CA. He also leaves several nieces, nephews and cousins. He had so many friends who will feel his loss including his longtime friend and caregiver John Hillyard of East Albany VT and he also leaves his much loved friend Jeeni Duquette and their dog BoBo.

There will be no formal services; however there will be a celebration of his life gathering in both VT and MA. On Saturday April 4th John Hillyard will host a party at his home in East Albany and on Saturday April 25 a party will be held at Darcy’s home in Tolland MA. All are welcome to both.


Photo by George H. Aldrich




Navy photo contributed by Robert Hague.

Original glass plate negatives loaned courtesy of Darcy (Clifford) Cooley and Julie Clifford for digitization by the Granville Historic Image Library, a preservation project of the Granville Library Historical Room and the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation.

Music recordings provided by Robert Hague.

Background on the musket provided by Robert Hague.


Navy Image: Photographer unknown.

Childhood Images: Darcy (Clifford) Cooley and Julie Clifford.

Bicentennial Photo: Copyright David W. Pulaski.

Digital Images: Created by Granville Library Historical Room and Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation.

Music Copyright: Darcy (Clifford) Cooley and Julie Clifford.


Photo by George H. Aldrich, “Dennis "Denny" Clifford (1939-2009),” Granville History Digital Collection, accessed November 29, 2023,


Robert Hague

The gun is the "family musket" originally owned by Jonathan Aldrich, George Alsrich's great grandfather's brother.

Mandy Lennon

What a treasure to have these recordings. The Granville Banjo Fiddle Contests were so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing them!

Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>