Erica Clifton Drewes — 1945-2013

Longtime Fallen Leaf Lake resident Erica Clifton Drewes died July 21. She was 68.

Also known as Ceci, CE, Two, and Mac, Erica was a fifth generation San Franciscan.

Erica was born March 10, 1945, in Washington, D.C., to Robert Drewes and Caroline Clifton Drewes.

Erica was a proud San Francisco native, an accomplished artist, and a passionate liberal activist. She spent her childhood in Presidio Heights, cavorting through the city and every summer climbing the mountains of the Sierra. She attended Katherine Delmar Burke’s School and then UC Berkeley where she received a BA, and later an MFA. She continued to study art and architecture at the Accademia di Belle Arte in Rome and at Harvard University. She received a second MA in film from San Francisco State.

Erica Clifton Drewes

Erica Clifton Drewes

Her pride and joy was the East Bay Community Arts Project Inc., a nonprofit visual and performing arts school for juvenile prisoners that she founded in 1974.

Erica was a multifaceted artist who used any and every medium to create beauty. She sewed exquisite clothes for her nieces and nephew (and in turn their children), sketched treasured valentines, painted on clothing, built sculptures and bookcases, and restored chairs, teddy bears, windows, and cabins. Every letter or postcard she mailed was a little piece of art full of love, and warmth, personalized with her notes of good humor. Every tool she wielded left a broken something in near mint condition.

A true “flower child,” Erica loved a good argument about politics, culture, art, and literature. She compulsively read the New Yorker, New York Times, and the San Francisco Examiner, and was an avid independent moviegoer.

Every morning, for more than 35 years, she swam in the bay as a member of the Dolphin Club, which, after her death, flew its flag at half-mast in her honor.

She is survived by her brothers, Robert and Stephen; her sister-in-law, Gail; her nieces, Genevieve, Caitlin, and Jillian; nephew, Bartholomew; their spouses and children; and, her many old and dear friends.

Donations in Erica’s name can be made to Planned Parenthood.