Clifford Hurn

Clifford Eugene Hurn

Wednesday, March 29th, 1950 - Monday, July 27th, 2020
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Clifford E. Hurn 1950-2020

Clifford “Cliff” E. Hurn, aged 70, passed away after a year-long battle with esophageal cancer at his Clinton home on Monday, July 27th, 2020, surrounded by his wife and four children, their spouses, and his newborn grandchild.

Cliff was born in Arlington, Washington on March 29th, 1950, to Ruby Armstrong and Jerry Hurn. He was one of seven siblings and spent most of his childhood in Arlington and Snohomish, graduating from Snohomish High School in 1968. Cliff lettered in cross country, wrestling, and track, while also performing in the high school band under the direction of his esteemed band leader, Mr. Peterson. With his tenor saxophone, Cliff had the memorable opportunity to go on a European tour with his bandmates, traveling for the first time on an airplane and experiencing new cultures in foreign countries. This experience sparked a love for traveling the world both for leisure and athletic competition.

Cliff’s dream was to attend the University of Washington and pursue a college degree, which he attained in Accounting from the School of Business. Because of his tall stature and sports experience, he received a recruiting letter inviting him to try out for the UW Rowing Team. At the time, high school rowing had not yet become popular, so Cliff was curious about what this sport entailed. Cliff’s strong work ethic and competitive spirit were traits that served him well as an oarsman. Even though his endurance and strength were legendary, his coaches soon learned that Cliff had great difficulty following his teammates and matching their rhythm. As an experiment, his Freshman coach tried him in the stroke seat so he could set the pace and flow of the boat. From that time on, Cliff competed at stroke for most of his remaining career. He earned the respect of his coaches and teammates who were inspired by his relentless workouts and his intense desire to win and excel at the sport he loved. Rowing became the major success and joy of his younger life, as Cliff and his teammates helped return the UW Crew Team to national prominence. More importantly, he accumulated many life-long friends along the way. Cliff won two Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championships and three National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (NAOO) championships, earning him the privilege to represent the United States in the UW Coxed Four at the 1970 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, the UW Eight at the Pan American Games in 1971 in Cali, Colombia (Silver medal), and the UW Coxed Pair in 1973 in Moscow, Russia. During his career, he was selected as Inspirational Award winner and co-captain of the UW Varsity team. In 2004, Cliff and his teammates were inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame for their rowing achievements. His pursuits with his fellow teammates, both in and out of the boat, were fodder for many a tale repeated at gatherings of rowing friends throughout his life. Cliff was also well known for his stories and could entertain anyone who would listen, recounting one escapade after another without interruption for hours at a time. Many who loved Cliff will most likely remember his stories and his amazing memory for recounting details of long-ago events and races.

In the latter part of his life, Cliff again resumed his passion for rowing when he joined the Ancient Mariners, a Seattle-based group of older men seeking a good physical workout and the camaraderie of rowers. These friendships with both seasoned rowers and those new to the sport brought good-natured ribbing and much enjoyment to Cliff in his senior years.
While at the U of W in early 1971, Cliff met the great love of his life, Janine Fischer, on a blind date arranged by Cliff and Janine's college roommates who thought they might be a good match. It proved to be good advice as Cliff and Janine married in 1973 and came to enjoy almost 50 years together, raising their family of two sons and two daughters. They later experienced the ultimate joy of grandchildren and proudly seeing their children become parents themselves. Cliff and Janine were also fortunate to enjoy many opportunities for travel, both for business and pleasure, to several destinations around the world.

Cliff spent the majority of his working years in the roofing business, beginning with manufacturing of cedar shakes in the Hurn family business in Beaver. Cliff eventually came to own a residential roofing company, Legacy Roofing, which served the greater Seattle area for over 20 years, while making many valued friends in the roofing community.

Aside from his rowing and business pursuits, Cliff's primary focus throughout his life was his faith in God and his devotion to his family. His four beloved children and three grandsons were the light of Cliff's life. Cliff is survived by his wife, Janine, their children Hans (Emily), Heidi (Chad), Stefan, and Erika, as well as grandsons Otto, Max, and Hendrix, and granddog Bailey. Cliff is also survived by siblings Charli, Jerry, Mary, Judy and Trisha, and multiple nieces, nephews, and in-laws who came to treasure Cliff’s unique sense of humor, ever-present smile, and zest for life. Cliff is preceded in death by his parents, Ruby and Jerry Hurn, and his sister Jeannette Hurn.

Cliff’s Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when larger gatherings are permitted. Please refer to Cliff’s CaringBridge page at for updates and more details as they develop.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you donate in Cliff's name to one of the following organizations that were close to his heart:

Washington Rowing: Please note "In Memory of Cliff Hurn" throughout the checkout process.

UW Medicine Oncology Division, GI Cancer Program Research Fund (under "Make a Gift"):

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance:

Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at Celebration of Life information will also be posted on this site.

Please no flowers at this time.
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