Clifford “Cliff” Provost

Published 11:11 am Friday, November 11, 2016

Clifford “Cliff” Provost, age 83, died following a lengthy illness on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at his home in Ventura, CA, with his wife by his side. He was a resident of Ventura for 33 years, moving here from Manhattan Beach, CA.

He was born on June 8, 1933, in Abbeville, LA to Edward and Oreta (Joseph) Provost. Cliff’s father was a sharecropper and the family escaped from Louisiana to Texas when he was 10 years old. Cliff‘s first language was French Creole and he learned English in school in Texas.

Cliff grew up in Port Arthur, TX where he was a very talented and successful athlete. He played on National Championship Football teams at Lincoln HS and Prairie View College. He was also under contract for a Canadian Football team called the Ottawa Roughriders.

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Cliff was a Korean War veteran. He served in the US Army from 1954 to 1956 achieving the rank of Military Police. He participated in Operation Red Wing in the Bikini and Eniwetok Islands in the South Pacific where he witnessed the detonation of atomic and hydrogen bombs.

After the service, Cliff attended Texas Southern University and was a UCLA Alumni, majoring in Kinesiology.

Cliff was a trailblazer at a time when people of color had few in-roads. He had a lifetime of many firsts. Cliff created many employment opportunities wherever he went, adding to a very interesting and rewarding life. Many times, he was the first Black employed with the companies he worked for. He retired from his last job as a car salesman at McConica Motors in 1989.

Cliff loved sports and was a member of the Pierpont Racquet Club where he played tennis and socialized at length with other members.

His interests and hobbies included sports, playing basketball, tennis and golf. He was a Bible Scholar. Cliff loved people, never met a stranger, loved cars, had a wonderful sense of humor, and was kind and fun-loving, generous almost to a fault and always made guests feel welcome in their home. He has been married to his lovely wife, Josefa “Jo”, for 43 years.

Cliff is survived by his loving wife, Jo; brother and sister-in-law, Roy and Louise Provost, Texas City, TX; children and their spouses, Cynthia Provost White, Port Arthur, TX, Madgalyn Browning, Los Angeles, CA, Jacquelyn and Glenn Foreman, Port Arthur, TX, Charlette Marie Provost, Atlanta, GA, Clifford Jr. and Maria Provost, Bremerton, WA; cousins, Rose Sinegal, Camarillo, CA, Prozella Taylor, Port Arthur, TX; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2016, 1:00 P.M., at the Ted Mayr Funeral home 3150 Loma Vista Road, in Ventura, with a wake to follow the service. Details will be provided at the service. Inurnment will take place at Riverside National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, Ventura. Condolences may be sent to