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Welcome to the memorial page for

Robert Gifford

November 24, 1931 ~ October 3, 2017 (age 85)
Robert Gifford will be remembered for his smile, his sense of humor and knowing it was always about the other person. Bob’s entire life revolved around education, sports and family. He taught Biology at all four of Wausau’s secondary schools and for many years was the Athletic Director at Wausau West High School before his retirement.
Saying Bob was “active” during his 85 years of life would be putting it lightly. He could be found as a starter at track and cross country meets, officiating basketball and football, and for 25 years, the Director of the WIAA State Baseball Tournament. Outside of athletics, he was the Past President of the Wausau Education Association and an active member of the Wausau Evening Kiwanis Club.

Bob was born on November 24, 1931 in Clear Lake, WI to the late Fred and Rose (Godden) Gifford. On January 18, 1952, Bob married Lavon Thoreson at the Thoreson family home in Roberts, WI and began his military service in the US Army during the Korean War. After his discharge, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology Education from UW-River Falls and later his Master’s Degree in Biology through the Kansas State Teacher’s College. During that time the family moved to Wausau with their two children, Tammie and Tim who were raised in the same atmosphere of teaching and coaching.

At the age of 85, Bob passed away on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He is survived by his daughter, Tammie McCarthy (teacher) of Oconto, his son, Tim (Ann) Gifford (teacher and coach) of Watertown, three grandchildren, John (Jill) McCarthy, Kaeley Gifford and Andrew Gifford and sister-in-law, Maren Thoreson of Wausau. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Lavon, infant son, Thomas Paul, four brothers, and two sisters.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 7, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, 406 Grant St., Wausau. Reverend Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate. A dinner will be served at the church after the service. Private entombment will be in Restlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be in the church parlor on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at
Memorials may be directed to the family for the establishment of a scholarship at a local high school.


First Presbyterian Church of Wausau
406 Grant Street
Wausau, WI 54403

Saturday, October 7, 2017
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM


First Presbyterian Church of Wausau
406 Grant Street
Wausau, WI 54403

Saturday, October 7, 2017
11:00 AM

 Service Information

A service summary is not available

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