Earl Gifford, age 95, of Cokato, passed away Friday, December 30, 2016, at his home in Cokato.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, January 3, 2017, 11:00 A.M. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin with interment following in the church cemetery.
Gathering of Family & Friends will be Tuesday, January 3, 2017, one hour prior to the service at the church.
Earl Frank Gifford was born on October 26, 1921, in Brown County, Comfrey, Minnesota. He was the son of Frank and Electa Mae (Jackett) Gifford. Earl was baptized as an infant at the Catholic Church in Comfry, Minnesota, and was later confirmed in his faith as a youth, at Saint Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, Minnesota. He received his education thru the 10th grade at Mankato Loyola Catholic School in Mankato. Earl was also a part of the Civilian Conservation Corps Program in Grand Marais, Minnesota. He entered active military service in the United States Navy on March 2, 1942, and served his country during World War II on the the USS Fanshaw Bay as an aviation radio operator. He received an Honorable Discharge on October 22, 1945, and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.
Earl was united in marriage to Louise Gustafson for over 30 years. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Carl, Charis, Christina and Brooks.
On October 11, 1994, Earl was united in marriage to Donna Harris in Astoria, Oregon. Earl and Donna made their home in Cokato, Minnesota. Their marriage was also blessed with Donna’s 6 children, Jeanette, Paul, Jeffery, Catherine, Robert and Steve. Earl and Donna shared 22 years of marriage.
Earl worked as a truck driver and for the United States Postal Service in Oregon City, Oregon, and St. Paul, Minnesota, and retired in 1981. In his later years, he drove school and charter busses. He was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, Minnesota. Earl was also a member of the Brainerd VFW Post #1647 and the Howard Lake Legion Post #145.
Earl enjoyed woodworking, traveling, making beef jerky and drying fruits including bananas and apples. He especially treasured the time spent with his family, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends. “Everyone loved Earl!” He was a very proud veteran.
Earl passed away on Friday, December 30, 2016, at his home in Cokato at the age of 95 years.
Blessed be his memory.
Earl is survived by his:
Wife, Donna “June” Gifford of Cokato, MN;
Children, Carl Quentin Gifford and his wife, Debbie, of ID,
Charis Faye Woodward and her husband, Durwood, of OR,
Christina Sager and her husband, Roger, of OR,
Brooks Diane Louise Cullison and her husband, Dean, of OR;
Step Children, Jeanette Gunnerson and her husband, James, of Annandale, MN,
Paul Harris and his wife, Jenny, of Burnsville, MN,
Jeffery Harris and his wife, Judy, of WI,
Catherine Harris of Willmar, MN,
Robert Harris and his wife, Shelby, of MO;
32 Great Grandchildren;
6 Great-Great Grandchildren;
Brother, Harold Gifford and his wife, Carol, of Woodbury, MN;
Sister, June Shoen of Hastings, MN;
Brother-In-Law, Robert Schumann and his wife, Donna, of Annandale, MN;
Daughter-In-Law, Lori Harris of Cambridge, MN;
Many other relatives and friends.
Earl is preceded in death by his Parents, Frank and Electa Gifford; 1st Wife, Louise Gustafson; Son, Steve Harris; Sister, Rosemary Schumann; Brother, Quentin John Gifford; Brother-In-Law, Sam Shoen.