YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Cleophus “Duke” Gilford, Jr., 53 of Youngstown, departed this  life on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at St. Elizabeth Hospital surrounded by his family after a lengthy illness.

Cleophus “Duke” Gilford, Jr. was born May 18, 1968 of 1400 Springdale Avenue #118 Youngstown, Ohio the eldest son of Mr. Cleophus Gilford, Sr. and Mrs. WillaDean Evans Gilford.

He attended The Rayen High School graduating in 1987, “The Nation”.  Duke also was a great running back for The Rayen High School football team.

In his early years he was employed by Stambaugh Golf Course and later in life he was employed by Callex, also Starr Fab.

He enjoyed watching movies and football; he was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Duke loved listening to music such as West Coast Funkadelic and Rap music. He enjoyed being with his family and friends laughing and having fun. He will dearly be missed. WE LOVE YOU DUKE!!!!

He is survived by his only son, Daniel Neely; two grandchildren, Daniel Neely, Jr. and Ariel M. Neely; three sisters, Darla White, Betty Gilford and Trina Hill; a brother, Greg (Aeisha) Gilford; best friend, Mr. Brian Moore and cousins, Morris “Juice” Evans, Sam Boone and Andre Evans.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; Mr and Mrs. Harrison and Idella Evans and a great-nephew, Jace L. Hill, who departed this life on December 7, 2021.

Funeral service was Wednesday, December 21, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. at the F. D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home

PLEASE FOLLOW CDC GUIDELINES (6 FOOT RULE) OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING YOUR MASK OVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WHEN ENTERING THE BUILDING.