Donald “Don” R. Gifford, 84, passed away Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at Autumn Wood in Claremore.
He was born April 15, 1932 in Talala. He was the youngest of nine children and the son of Harry and Izora (Shaw) Gifford.
The family’s history in Talala dates back to 1909 when they traveled into town by covered wagons.
He was a lifelong resident of Rogers County, graduating from Claremore High School with the Class of 1950. Following high school, he honorably served in the 45th Division of the Army National Guard and was later activated with the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. His successful career as an aircraft mechanic with American Airlines spanned over 35 years.
He loved spending time at Oologah and Grand Lakes where he spent countless hours fishing and waterskiing. He loved to travel, taking numerous adventures to Las Vegas throughout his lifetime. He also remained active in the Claremore community serving as a member of the Elks Lodge, American Legion, and the First Christian Church.
He is survived by his children, Diana Kohler and husband, Don of Chelsea and LaDonna Hix of Oologah; two grandchildren, Krystal Jenkins and husband, Greg and Kristy Kohler Blackburn and six great-grandchildren, Evan, Aiden, Devin, Hunter, Luke, and Sterling.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Lois Adams, Thelma Valliere, Letitia Munson, Harriett Simpson, Helen Kilpatrick, Annabell Schweasdall, Harry Gifford, and Verna Standeford; and his son-in-law Kirby Hix.
A funeral ceremony honoring and remembering his life was held at 10 a.m., Friday, March 17, in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service with Rev. Charles Ragland of First Christian Church presiding. Interment followed in the Talala Cemetery.