It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our loving husband, father and papa, Clifford Eugene Viale, who passed away at St. Joseph Hospital on June 30, 2021 from a progressive lung disease.
Cliff was born in Eureka at the Old St. Joseph Hospital to John and Shirlene Viale and was 72 years old at the time of his death. Cliff’s earlier years were spent in the Blue Lake, Old Arcata Road and Freshwater areas of Humboldt County where he enjoyed fishing and swimming in nearby rivers and creeks. His love for the outdoors continued throughout his life with fishing, hunting and cutting fire wood which he truly enjoyed.
Cliff attended Blue Lake, Freshwater and Lafayette Elementary Schools as well as Eureka Jr High. He graduated from Eureka High School in 1967 and attended College of the Redwoods.
As a lifetime resident of Humboldt County, Cliff belonged to various organizations, including the local chapter of DeMolay International. He was an Honorary Member of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Marine Posse during Gene Cox’s tenure, a past member of the Moose Lodge, Native Sons of the Golden West-Ferndale, Redwood Coast and Lost Coast Corvettes, and a current member of the Elks Lodge 652 and Teamsters Local 137.
Cliff had a long and storied work history beginning at Eureka Fisheries while in high school where he stayed on while attending college in the late 60’s. He was drafted in 1968 during the Vietnam War and wanted to serve his country, but was sent home due to hearing loss. Cliff worked in the local timber Industry until the Redwood National Park Expansion. After receiving his Class A license, Cliff spent a large portion of his working years driving truck, including hauling logs for Sierra Pacific Industries and long haul for both Nielsen and Delta Freight Lines. Following deregulation of the trucking industry, he worked at both Simpson and L-P Pulp Mills until their closures.
Cliff was a County of Humboldt Transport Driver for 15 years prior to his retirement in 2010, receiving several awards for his dedication to safe driving standards while maneuvering through the many twists and turns of Humboldt County’s back roads. After his retirement, Cliff continued to work as an extra-help driver for the County, specifically asked to come out of retirement for his heavy equipment transport expertise.
Cliff was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, neighbor, and friend, who enjoyed making memories with his family and helping out his community. Some of those special memories of Cliff’s life that we wanted to share include:
Dressing up as Santa, cutting Christmas trees, and building playhouses for other families, including those in need
Working on movies, such as Blue Skies II (1987), Outbreak (1994), and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) through Teamsters Local 137
Backpacking trips to the Trinity Alps with friends, and fishing trips on the Sacramento River with his son, AJ and family friend Brian Goodman
Participating in (and finishing!) the Tough Mudder Endurance Event in 2013 with childhood friends, Bill Beauchamp and Larry Castle
Taking the Corvette to Scottsdale Arizona for Giants’ Spring Training in 2016 following his wife, Diane’s retirement
Many summers spent in the trailer at Cabana Holiday/Redwoods River Resort with Family and Friends
Cutting Christmas trees on South Fork Mountain each year with Family
Cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey each year at his brother Joe’s House in Fortuna
Cliff is survived by his loving wife Diane of 46 years; sons David (Humboldt County), Anthony “AJ” (Leilani) of Rohnert Park and daughter Angela Viale (Greg Allen) of Eureka; granddaughters Lauren Miller (Kyle), Jordyn and Morgan Viale, Sophia Bates and great-grandchildren Kinley, Reid, and Baby Girl Miller (due in late August). Cliff, being the eldest of six boys, is also survived by his brothers Jarl, Ed (Dallas), John, Joe and Jeff, and their families, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Also surviving Cliff are his uncle, Dale Callihan (Jacquie); aunt, Pam Wells; brother-in-law, Dave Startare (Tamara) and families.
Cliff is preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law William J. (Bill) Startare (Joyce), mother-in-law Mary Lou McCauley (Jack), brother-in-law Dennis Startare, grandparents Cliff and Sue Viale, Doris Wells, Shirley and Helen Callihan, aunt Elve Cotton and special cousins, Diane Viviani and Janine Cotton.
The family would like to thank Humboldt Bay Fire, City Ambulance, St. Joseph Hospital and Caleb and Staff at Sanders Funeral Home for their care and support.
Services were held on Wednesday July 7, 2021 at the Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum. A celebration of life is being planned for early August here locally. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.