Georgia Isabelle Cluff (Balz) was born on June 29, 1942, in Queens, New York, and breathed her last breath on May 01, 2018, at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae California. She was preceded in death by her father Walter Balz and her mother Dorothy Balz (Muller).
Georgia was raised in Richmond Hill, Queens, by her mother Dorothy who was an Administrative Nurse. She finished high school and then attended Atlantic Union College (AUC) in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. Georgia met her future husband Clifton Cluff at Atlantic Union College and they were married in 1964. Georgia and Cliff had a busy beginning to their marriage as they were blessed with their first son David Allen on February 15, 1965. This was soon followed by their second son Robert Stephen on February 26, 1966. During this time Georgia & Cliff completed their education at AUC and Cliff then began his career as a X-ray Technician. Cliff often worked two jobs staying very busy with his family seeing him mostly on the weekends. Georgia and Cliff went through difficult times culminating in a divorce in 1974 which saw Georgia and her two sons move from Waltham Massachusetts to Bayville, New York to live with Georgia’s mother Dorothy Balz. After the divorce Dave and Bob were able to see their Dad about once a month as they lived 200 miles away. Georgia lived in Bayville, New York (close to her son Dave) for over twenty years before moving to California around 1996 to be closer to her son Bob.
Christian education was a high priority for Georgia as she dedicated her life to a career in teaching that lasted close to thirty years. Georgia spent the majority of her teaching years at Whispering Pines School in Old Westbury, New York. Many of those years at Whispering Pines included Georgia’s role as school Principal. Georgia had a reputation for running a “tight ship” as a stern disciplinarian. Even so, her students knew that she had great compassion for them as her utmost calling was to teach them academic tools to serve them here in this life, and teach them the love of Christ to serve them for eternity.
Georgia related to her sons that she was proud of her tenure at Whispering Pines School in Old Westbury, New York. She expressed her great thanks to God that during her time there the enrollment increased from about 65 to over 120 students! Another accomplishment Georgia was very proud of was regarding her summer class she performed while teaching at Whispering Pines. She told her son Dave that the professor approached her towards the end of the semester and reported to her privately that she would not be a part of the traditional “curve” grading scale for the final grade for the class. Georgia would receive an A. The reason she was not included in the “curve” is the next best grade was a C, and approximately 70% of the class would fail!! The professor would eventually announce this information to the entire class.
When Georgia moved from Bayville, New York to California, she continued her teaching career at Chico Oaks Adventist School (1996-2004), and then West Valley Christian School in Campbell (2004-2011). After retirement Georgia became a Teacher’s Assistant and worked at Hilltop Christian School in Antioch, CA (2014-present).
Georgia demonstrated valor as a single mom who raised two sons in New York. She was especially thankful to have the help of her mother Dorothy who often took care of the boys, sometimes for a whole summer, as Georgia pursued her career and received her Master’s Degree in Education from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Georgia loved her two boys very much and enjoyed taking trips with them to places such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Florida, Poconos (PA), and Hawaii. Georgia at times even took them to the snow though she preferred the warmth over the cold. Georgia lived a life a courage being in an inter-racial marriage at a time when that was not accepted, raising two boys as a single mom, and being teacher-principal for many years. She was a lighthouse providing direction for many souls. Georgia loved her church families wherever she was at the time. She spent the most time with her church family in Old Westbury, New York and also with the Antioch SDA Church family in California. Georgia loved reading, Bible study and visiting her grandchildren. She was a devoted and generous, mother, grandmother (nana), daughter, teacher, church member, and friend.
Georgia is survived by her two sons David Allen Cluff (wife Dawn) of Bayville, NY and Robert Stephen Cluff of Antioch, CA; and her four grandchildren Athena, Selah, Abbey, and Cooper.