Charles Robert Gifford, our beloved patriarch, passed away on May 27, 2020. He was a fighter but a second protracted bout of cancer exhausted him. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kathryn A. Gifford nee Floyd. Charlie’s last wish was to die at home and his awesome children and their equally amazing spouses made that possible: Charles F. (Vanessa) Gifford, Trinity, Florida, Cara C. (Lee) Hendricks, Lawrence, Kansas, Catelyn M. (Andy) Orsini, Santa Cruz, California, and Clayton E. (Kristen) Gifford, Sylvania, Ohio. Their love for their Dad is a tribute to him as a father.
The apples of his eye were his nine grandchildren: Tirian and Asher Gifford, Willem and Wyatt Hendricks, Everett, Ansel and Cedar Orsini and Logan and Claire Gifford.
Charles was the youngest child of Carl Charles and Suzanne Gifford nee Chambers. He was born in Toledo on New Years’ Eve, 1948. His parents and brother, Richard, preceded him in death.
Charles was a member of the first graduating class (1966) of E.L. Bowsher H. S. to attend all four years there. He graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1973. He served in the US Army Reserve, honorably discharged in 1976.
He was employed by the Toledo Zoo as a youth, a place and people he always remembered fondly. Post college, he worked at Haughton Elevator, Sohio Refinery, Henry Filters (BG) and finished his career at Toledo Jeep and Chrysler Motors Corporate Engineering as a Launch Manager, retiring after 32 years. In this position he worked with wonderful people all over the country and Brampton, Ontario.
Charlie was adventuresome and fun. His interests were many. Over the years, He taught Local 8 Electrician apprenticeship classes, refereed Anthony Wayne Youth Soccer, coached CYO basketball, tutored at St. Francis De Sales and read extensively. He served as a past president of the Instrument Society of America local chapter, did sudoku puzzles daily and enjoyed Teen Town Reunions. He loved food, taught himself to cook and mastered it. When a new restaurant opened, he visited. He took the concealed carry class. He was always happiest working outside. For many years he kept bees and chickens. He was a member of the Maumee Valley Beekeepers’ Association. He loved all animals but especially his dogs and his cat. He taught four children and two foreign exchange students to drive.
As a child he loved sports, particularly sandlot baseball; pickup games went on for hours. Later, he followed the Cleveland Indians, English Soccer as a Liverpool fan and he especially loved any sport played by the University of Toledo. He held season tickets to UT football and Men’s and Women’s basketball and was a member of Downtown Coaches’ Club for many years. He exercised faithfully and did a few 5K races in his dotage.
Charles will be remembered for his quick wit and wisdom often leaving his family and friends laughing. He was creative and artistic. A hell raiser as a child, he matured into a most caring, generous man, devoted to and extremely proud of his children and grandchildren. His was a life well-lived.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Tim and Susan Iorio and Christine of Sincera Palliative Care for their amazing kindness and care. And a special thank you to Rich and Barbie Munn for their support and friendship. In keeping with the current climate, Services for Charles will be private. Please consider an act of kindness to any creature or planting a tree in his honor.