Irma Adele Clifton, 77, of Falmouth, passed away on August 30, 2019 at Mary Washington Hospital after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Irma grew up in Lorton and resided there for many years. Always an active member of her community, she served on numerous committees and boards. Irma’s passion for history, especially as it related to Lorton Prison, was evident, as was her commitment and dedication in making the Workhouse Arts Center a success. Irma was the first president of the Lorton Arts Foundation and helped to create the Workhouse Arts Center we know today. The Center opened in 2008 on the former prison site and is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to Irma’s efforts.
Irma was recognized by Fairfax County for her work in rescuing key historical suffrage artifacts during the closure of the Lorton Prison and was the recipient of the Silent Sentinel Award for her work with the Suffragist Memorial. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. Irma retired from the D.C. Department of Corrections after 26 years of service.
Most recently, Irma returned to Falmouth where she had lived in the 1970s and 1980s and took up a similar mantle. She was always in the forefront to save the historical integrity of Falmouth, including the preservation of Shelton Cottage and other significant structures. For this work and more, Irma was honored with the Volunteer Award for Historic Preservation by Stafford County. She is a life member of the Stafford County Historical Society and served as president from 1987-89. This year, Irma was appointed to serve on the Stafford County Architectural Review Board.
Irma was greatly loved by her family and friends and was the driving force behind keeping everyone connected. She was always ready and willing to devote her time and efforts to help those in need. Irma touched the lives of everyone who knew her and she will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her daughter, Donna Clifton (Carl Haub); sister Bonita Reading (George); sisters-in-law Dolores Mahon and Peggy Lewis (James); and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Naomi and Harry Mahon, Sr.; sister Delores Wood; brothers Milton Mahon and Carroll Mahon; step-sister Lillian Jones; and step-brothers Harry Mahon, Jr. and William Mahon.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 16 at Covenant Funeral Service Chapel Fredericksburg chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Workhouse Arts Center http://www.workhousearts.org/give; or the Stafford County Historical Society https://staffordhistorical.org/donate-schs.