The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 12, 2012

Obituaries — Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Johnny Alfred Aliff

OCEANA — Surrounded by those he loved dearly, lived for and laughed with, Johnny Alfred Aliff, age 86, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

The son of the late Acy and India Short Aliff, Johnny was born at Sun Hill on August 21, 1926.  He lived most of his life in Oceana.

He served his country as a soldier in the U.S. Army during WW II and the Korean Conflict. After completing his military service in Anchorage, Alaska, Johnny returned to Oceana where he began what would ultimately be decades of service to his community and people that he loved.

While serving as U.S. Postmaster for 35 years, Johnny also volunteered his time and expertise as Fire Chief in the all-volunteer Oceana Fire Department and was instrumental in organizing the first volunteer rescue squad for the town. Over the years, he held several positions including: City Councilman, member of the Board of Directors for Southwest Community Action Head Start, member of the Board of Directors for Mountain Heart Council On Aging, and many other positions, too numerous to detail.

Johnny was well respected by those who knew him throughout his lifetime. He will be greatly missed by all of us who had the privilege of calling him Friend.

In addition to his parents, Johnny was preceded in death by his former wife and best friend, Ernestene (Ernie) Milam Aliff; brother, Lonnie Ray Aliff; beloved sisters, Nancy Aliff Gunter and Virginia (Ginny) Aliff  Morgan; and son-in-law, John (Jack) Trainor.

Johnny is survived by two sons, Johnny Aliff II and his wife, Rhonda of Bluefield, W.Va., and Richard Aliff and his wife, Cara of Crestview Hills, Ky., and four daughters, Cheryl Aliff Tyree and her husband, Tom of Huntington, W.Va., Karen Aliff Boone and her husband, Rick of Lexington, Ky., Joetta Aliff Walker and her husband, David of Oceana, and Robin Aliff Trainor of Monroe, N.C. He is also survived by his brother, Jackie Aliff of Oceana; former daughters-in-law, Venessa Cook Aliff and Karen Halsey Lattie, 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Johnny had four very special friends and caregivers in Cathy Daniels, Lenette Lusk-Wood, Sherry Hood and Darlene Hawkins. We are truly grateful for, and humbled by the excellent care, dedication and friendship you gave our Dad. You are truly Angels of Mercy to us.

The Aliff family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the members of Hospice of Southern West Virginia, whose dedication and effort provided excellent medical care and comfort during the last year of Dad’s life. Words cannot adequately describe how greatly enriched Dad’s life was because you were there for him — and for us in every way possible. May God richly bless you for all you do in the name of compassion.

We thank God, our heavenly Father, for giving Johnny life and good health, for the 86 years He allotted to Dad and for picking him to be a loving, generous father and role model to Cheryl, Karen, Joetta, John, Robin and Rich.

It is said, “What lies behind a man and what lies before a man are tiny matters compared to what lies within a man.” Johnny Aliff was indeed, that kind of man. Our loss is Heaven’s gain; it’s all good.

Funeral services honoring Johnny’s exemplary life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 13, 2012 at Oceana Freewill Baptist Church, with the Rev. Jackie Grimmett officiating. Interment will follow at Palm Memorial Gardens, Matheny. Military Rites will be conducted by the Wyoming County Honor Guard. A public viewing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, October 12th at the church.

In memory of Johnny, memorial contributions may be made to: Hospice of Southern WV, PO Box 1472, Beckley, WV 25801 or Oceana Volunteer Fire Department, c/o Brian Morgan, PO Box 385, Oceana, WV 24870.

An online guestbook and other information can be found at

Evans Funeral Home of Oceana is serving the Aliff family.

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