[Editor's Note: The following obituary was originally published in the Monday, March 4, 1996 issue of The Spectrum newspaper in southwestern Utah. Some typos have been corrected from the version as it appeard in print.]
Gerald Kendall Gifford, our beloved father, grandfather, brother, and friend was called home to Heavenly Father, and to be with his wonderful wife Aleath, on Saturday, March 2, 1996.
Gerald, 78, had struggled with his health since he was seriously wounded defending his country in World War II. After being wounded in Italy [Editor's note, 2011: It was Heilbronn, Germany, not Italy, where he was injured, at the Battle of Heilbronn], he was in army hospitals for two and one half years. He was awarded the Purple Heart for bravery. For the last 20 years, he has battled cancer. His courage, faith, strength, and amazingly cheerful attitude has been an inspiration to everyone he came in contact with.
Gerald loved his family, he loved the Lord, and he loved music. He was blessed with the gift of sharing his musical abilities, to make other people happy. He sang, yodeled, played the guitar, the trumpet, mandolin, harmonica, ukelele, and had expressed a desire just lately to take up the banjo. In his younger years, he had his own radio show, and was known as the Singing Cowboy in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and as the Zion Wrangler in Utah. He entertained all over the western United States, making people laugh with his rendition of the "Laughing Cowboy" and his specialty, "The Animal Song." He played and sang with many dance bands through the years, including Quentin Nisson's orchestra, and with his own children and wife in the Gifford Family Band. Many people will miss dancing to Gerald's toe-tapping music.
Gerald was born April 5, 1917 in Springdale, Utah, to Samuel Kendall and Althera Gifford. He had five brothers and sisters who died in infancy, and two sisters, Ramona Bean and Lucille Evans, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister Aletha (Hugh) Cannon of Salt Lake City, and a brother, Avard (Ruth) Gifford, of Bountiful.
Gerald married his sweetheart, Aleath Dalton on May 23, 1939 in the St. George Temple. Aleath preceded Gerald in death on September 17, 1995. She went to prepare a place for the husband she loved and cared for. Gerald was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, serving a mission in the Central States Mission. He served faithfully throughout his life, in whatever position he was called to.
Gerald and Aleath are the parents of five children: Jeraldine Lawrence, JoAnn (LaMont) Hill, Darwin (Lolene) Gifford, Joyce Hepworth, and Dean (Debra) Gifford. Gerald loved his 31 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren dearly. We will all miss him very much.
Funderal services will be held on Wednesday, March 6, 1996 at 11 a.m. in the Hurricane LDS 7th Ward CHapel (155 E. 1050 North). Friends may call Tuesday evening from 7-8 p.m. at the Metcalf Hurricane Valley Mortuary (140 No. Main) and on Wednesday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the chapel prior to services. Interment in the Hurricane City Cemetery, under the direction of Metcalf Hurricane Valley Mortuary.