Finally!  We get the official answer about Cliff Johnson…  I caved and sent an email to the Hard Rock Cafe customer service department and within an hour got a response back as stated:

Dear Derek,

Thank you for contacting Customer Care and for your inquiry. Cliff was one of our Hard Rock’s beloved Directors. The pin proceeds benefited his family he was survived by.

Please feel free to contact us again if we may be of any help to you in the future.

Love All Serve All!
Customer Care Team
Hard Rock Cafe

So there we go.  Not a lot of detail, but at least it is an answer.