Donald Clifford Ludington, Jr.

1921 - 2005

Clifford (Cliff) Ludington, an orthopedic surgeon, was also an accomplished violinist who often played duets with his brother, Louis. They performed a double concerto at the 1966 General Conference meeting of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Detroit, Michigan.

Cliff was born in Mandalay, Burma, on September 16, 1921, the younger of two sons of missionary parents, Donald Clifford and Mildred Goodrich. Both brothers served in the mission field during their careers, Clifford serving as a missionary in Libya at the Benghazi Adventist Hospital and as a health educator in eight countries.

He grew up in Florida and Tennessee, where he attended Southern Junior College, now Southern Adventist University, as a business major. While at SJC, he distinguished himself as a talented violinist who played in the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and an outstanding baseball player.

He transferred to Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, where he continued to pursue study in business until drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. He served as a medic until 1946, including eighteen months in the South Pacific.

Upon his discharge, he enrolled at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, where he completed undergraduate study and then attended Loma Linda University Medical College, graduating in 1953 as an orthopedic surgeon. After completing a residency in surgery, he established a clinic in a poor county in Tennessee. When he left a decade later, he had established a flourishing hospital and a seventy-member SDA church, a church school, and a gymnasium.

In 1960 Ludington and his family went to Libya, where he became medical director of the Benghazi Adventist Hospital. He oversaw the building of a new sixty-bed hospital that, with support from oil companies, flourished. Five and a half years later, he returned to the U.S. to complete an orthopedic residency.

Although he intended to return to Libya, Omar Khadafi took over the country and he decided to stay in California to be near his only brother, who was ill with cancer.

After retirement he continued to be active, working for two and a half years in Thailand, where he served as medical director of the Mission Health Promotion Center, a branch of the Adventist hospital in Bangkok, and then in other medical and evangelistic efforts in overseas countries. Ludington was honored as Alumnus of the Year by Southern Adventist University in 1991.

He was residing in Paradise, California, at the time of his death on May 9, at age 83. He was survived by his wife Aileen; sons, Craig, Darryl, and Lance; daughters, Shelley Snider, Donna Stout and Lori Getzlaff; and twenty grandchildren.His grave marker has images of a baseball bat and glove (Atlanta, Georgia, Braves) and a violin, bow, and music score. 


Source: Numerous materials online, compiled by Julie Evans; Obituaries, Adventist Review, 23 February 2006, Pacific Union Recorder, July 2005; U.S. Social Security Applications for Claims Index, 1936-2007,