Carwin Brent Cluff passed away on January 31, 2017, in the care of his wife Raydene, at their daughter’s home in Rexburg, Idaho. His passing came after battling parkinsonism for several years.
Brent was born in Central, Arizona, on February 20, 1935, to Grace McRae and Samuel Verney Cluff. He developed an unwearying work ethic while farming cotton with his dad. His mother, who had a gift for helping needy students, taught school in nearby Thatcher. Brent was raised during times of scarcity in a home rich with love.
Brent met Raydene Hanchett in 1954 while they were students at Eastern Arizona Junior College. After his church mission to Hawaii, Brent and Raydene married in August 1958. They were devoted to each other, raising six children of their own and a Navajo placement student they count as a daughter. There was one family rule: no fighting. The kids had to get along, and so they learned to love each other.
After transferring to University of Arizona, Brent received BS and MS degrees, and later a PhD from Colorado State University in Civil Engineering. Brent worked 32 years as a hydrologist at the UofA. He was appointed to be the Arizona Governor’s Energy Advisor in 1987 and helped to lead Tucson’s CAP Recharge Initiative in the 80s and 90s.
Brent traveled widely, solving water shortages in remote villages in Africa, Brazil, Thailand, and Mexico, through water harvesting and evaporation control. He extended his research at home, constructing large floating solar collectors and water catchment ponds in his own backyard.
Brent was devoted to family and God. To his credit, Brent’s children are all returned missionaries and college graduates. He served twice as a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and felt it was his duty, always, to care for the destitute. He often hired jobless people right off a street corner and trained them to help with his work.
After 32 years at the UofA, Brent retired to pursue his dream of building efficient and affordable water purification systems. He created Clean Water Products in 1994 and developed several patented reverse osmosis and slowsand filters that made seawater drinkable. Through the efforts of Brent’s sons, who founded H2O for Humanity, his inventions are now providing clean water to over 300 villages in India. If his body had allowed it, Brent would be working alongside them still today.
Brent’s strength of character was manifest in his battle with the muscular degeneration of parkinsonism. As his body gradually stopped functioning, Brent might have been lost to bitterness. But instead he offered real cheer and wisdom to his family and caregivers. The Cluff family is indebted to the good people at the Homestead Assisted Living Center in Rexburg, Idaho, for their sweet and genuine care for Dad for over three years.
Brent is survived by his wife Raydene; his sisters Jeanne Merrill, Leisel McBride, and Frances Campbell; his children Kevin (Laurie) Cluff, Mike (Christi) Cluff, Brenda (Scott) Gardner, Eric
(Ronda) Cluff, Sandra (Duane) Wesemann, Shawna (Jed) Woodworth, and Trina Natay; as well as 29 grandchildren and one great-grandson. He is preceded in death by his mother and father; his sister Verna Rae Colvin; and his granddaughter Adrienne Grace Wesemann.
The family suggests donations be made by check to H20 for Humanity, care of Raydene Cluff, 92 Starview Drive, Rexburg, Idaho 83440
Funeral services for Brent will be conducted Saturday morning, February 11, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at the Old Central L.D.S. Chapel by Bishop Bryan McBride of the Central Second Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Central Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday evening, February 10, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at the Vining Funeral Home and Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m., at the Old Central L.D.S. Chapel Relief Society Room.
Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.