Homer Gifford | Obituary | Record Eagle – Traverse City record eagle | Dauktion

Giff L. Gifford

Homer “Giff” L. Gifford, 96, of Traverse City, arrived at his final resting place on September 3, 2022. Giff was born and raised in St. Johns, MI to Lial and Eva (Bowser) Gifford on July 16, 1926. He graduated from St. Johns High School and attended Michigan State University to earn a degree in to do business administration.
Giff was a proud veteran and served in the Army Air Corp’s 344th Fighter Squadron. at the rank of CPL as an aircraft and engine mechanic during World War II, stationed in Shemyo, AK – Aleutian Islands. Giff was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Theater Victory Medal for his service. He was passionate about the P-38 fighter aircraft, which he kept in “fight-ready” condition, and was a member of the P-38 National Association. Sharing his passion for all things aviation with his family, he has traveled to many top-notch air shows and museums across the United States.
Giff developed a love of radio from a very young age and was an accomplished Licensed Ham Radio Operator (HAM) who received Advanced status from the FAA. For many years he was a member of the American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) and a member of the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club of Traverse City. Giff (W8FGA) won multiple ARL radio competitions in 10 and 40 meter classifications and demonstrated his skills and technical ability by connecting with people around the world. It was easy to tell where Giff lived as his radio tower towered above the tree line in Orchard Heights. He was constantly building and erecting new antenna designs down in his workshop or outside in the garage. Giff’s wife Martha’s main complaint about his radio hobby was that every time she turned around, he was poking holes in the walls and stringing up a new exposed wire around the house! His reply was “Darling, this is the last one.” He shared his passion for radio and aviation with two of his grandsons, Eric Send and David Gifford.
Giff’s strong work ethic and desire to provide a secure living for his family led him to take a full-time job at Universal Electric in Owasso, then head to Ovid to run his father’s poultry farm, and then to Lansing to take night classes upstate to visit Michigan. His hard work finally paid off when, after graduating, Giff accepted a job with the Michigan State Department of Treasury and moved to Traverse City in 1964 with his young family from the farming community of Ovid, MI. He retired from the state of Michigan’s Dept. of Treasury in 1984. His retirement served as a springboard for no fewer than five extended camping adventures with his beloved wife Martha “Martie” in the great state of Alaska. Giff and Martie loved traveling the USA, mainly to visit historical sites, our amazing national parks, family and dear friends.
Giff taught his family to love the beauty of God’s creation of nature and the beauty of the great outdoors, which included lots of camping, hiking, and canoeing trips. He was always up for a Sunday drive and picnic with the family to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Traverse region. One of his favorite places to relax with his family for many years was the shores of Lake Superior in Agawa Bay, Ontario, Canada. Giff had an adventurous spirit from an early age that manifested throughout his life. While at school, he rode his single speed bike solo from St. Johns to Frankfurt, crossed Lake Michigan by ferry to Manistique and then on to the Porcupine Mountains. Also during high school, Giff hitchhiked with a friend from St. Johns to California for a month-long adventure before enlisting in the Army in 1944.
Giff enjoyed a variety of sports, but especially Tiger’s baseball, the NFL, college football, and Indy Car Racing. He coached little league baseball (Trude Hardware) and was president of the Traverse City Walk & Jog Club long before the craze for running and the popularity of endurance sports swept the country. In the early 1970’s he introduced his family to bike touring and eventually bicycle racing, and he was an active member of the Traverse City Bike Club and the American Bicycle League.
Giff had an insatiable appetite for non-fiction, particularly accounts of early exploration of the North and South Poles, Everest, etc., world and US history, military and political subjects. He always had a stack of fresh books ready. His faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was central to his life and the basis for raising his family. Giff was an intense Bible Student and truth seeker who followed in his father’s footsteps in the Christian faith and followed the principle of rightly dividing the word of truth. Giff has hosted many Bible studies at his home over the years and has traveled to many parts of the United States for Bible conferences.
Giff was always ready to offer wisdom and advice, but only when asked. He always encouraged his children and grandchildren in their endeavors and never missed a birthday party or family celebration. Giff has been extremely generous and has supported many charities over the years. He was an amazing, devoted husband, father and grandfather and his calm presence will be greatly missed by his family. He has now “finished his course with joy” and sleeps in Christ awaiting the blessed resurrection.
His parents preceded him in death; Sisters, Joyce Hart of Delta, Iowa, and Tina Schmitt of Fowler, MI.
Giff is survived by his 71-year-old wife, Martha; children, Joan M. Send (Jerry) of Traverse City and Gary L. Gifford (Pamela) of Hawk Point, MO.; 11 grandchildren, Eric (Nancy) Send, Ann (Jason) Hadfield, Elizabeth (Steve) Holbrook, Mary Canfield, Kay (Luke) Wilson. Mark (Mariah) Send and Amy Attee, Andrea (Sam) Kluba, David Gifford, Sarah (John) Kelly and Olivia Gifford; and 23 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at Oakwood Cemetery at 8th Street in Traverse City. Lunch will follow at Sojourn Church, 1027 McRae Hill Road, Traverse City. The viewing will be on Friday, September 9, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. at the Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Covell-Traverse City Chapel.
Memorial donations can be made to your local Salvation Army, Tunnel To Towers or a charity of your choice.
Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Covell-Traverse City Chapel, is in charge of the preparations.
www.beaconfh.com

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