James F. Gifford, 85, passed away Feb. 3, 2019 at the Rehabilitation Center of Hampton.
A Memorial Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 at St Joseph Catholic Church, 302 5th St SE, Mason City, IA with Father Neil Manternach, celebrant. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Charles City at a later date.
Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Monday Feb. 11 2019, at Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. NE, Mason City, IA. A Scriptural Wake Service will be held at 6:30 p.m.
In lieu of customary remembrances, please donate to Hospice of North Iowa and/or Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice.
James Fredrick Gifford was born to George and Maxine (Carroll) Gifford, April 8, 1933 in Charles City, Iowa. He graduated from Charles City High School in 1951. Jim was working at Lindeman Dairy in 1953 when he was drafted into the Army and sent to South Korea. He took great pride in his service to the country as a veteran.
Upon completion of his military duty in 1955 he returned to Charles City and married Theresa Dasch, daughter of John and Mabel Dasch of Rudd, Iowa. They were married at Holy Family Church in Mason City on June 18, 1955. After working a short time at the Oliver tractor plant in Charles City Jim started his life long connection and employment with the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. He started climbing telephone poles as a lineman, moved through the ranks as an installer, test board operator, and then supervisor. He held the position of area President of the Communication Workers of America. Jim and Terry moved from Charles City to Osage and then Mason City early in his career. On May 28, 1968, Jim was set to start his new position as manager of the Charles City office. That was the same day a tornado tore through Charles City. From a central office that had been partially destroyed, Jim was responsible for re-establishing communications in the devastated area. He would retire as Area District Manager in 1992.
Jim was a generous and loving son, brother, husband, father and friend. He enjoyed hunting and teaching firearms and firearm safety to his two boys. He enjoyed competing in fast pitch softball back in its heyday and was an accomplished pitcher. He enjoyed following his Iowa State Cyclones and all the fun that entailed with his family and friends. He loved playing golf with his wife and friends. Jim especially enjoyed his self-appointed role as promoter during his annual trip in March to Biloxi Mississippi for his ‘St Pat’s Open’ golf tournament. He would drag all his buddies along, set the itinerary, make up crazy trophies, and have great adventures and stories to tell upon his return. Jim believed in giving back to the community. He was active with the Kiwanis, Elks Club, and Boy Scouts of America. Upon his retirement Jim maintained his relationship with his many friends and coworkers of the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company by working with retirees through the Telephone Pioneers. He enjoyed installing and maintaining their various flowerbeds throughout Mason City. Jim loved collecting and restoring old phones. And golf, don’t forget the golf.
Jim is survived by his wife Terry, daughter Melody Gifford (Tony) of Austin, Texas, son Michael Gifford of Center Point, Iowa, and sister Delores Haynes of Cedar Bluffs, NE. Also surviving are six grandchildren: Alex Sills of Austin, TX, Connor Gifford of Chicago, IL, Gus Gifford of Austin, TX, Grayson Gifford of Iowa City, IA, Steven Gifford of Omaha, NE, and Daniel Gifford (Sam) of Indianola, IA. Additionally, he is survived by his sister in-laws Nancy Wasicek and Camilla Ent and brother in-law Gary Dasch (Jan) and several nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, son Jamey, grandson Nathan Sills, brothers in law Phillip Dasch and Sonny Dasch.
Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. NE, Mason City, IA 50401. (641) 423-2372. ColonialChapels.com