Allen L. Gifford
Allen L. “Gif” “Boppy” Gifford, 79, of Arlington, a kind-hearted, jovial man with a gentle, playful humor, shed his ailing, fleshly body on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison.
Allen was born March 6, 1937, the son of Sidney and Carmen (Berkvam) Gifford. He proudly served his country during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Allen married the love of his life, Robin Chamberlain, on Dec. 14, 1963. He worked for Madison Crushing and Excavating and Del Monte for many years and was a proud member of Local No. 139 Operating Engineers. Allen loved tinkering in his garage, was an excellent mechanic, and also painted many cars over the years. He enjoyed snowmobile racing and taking rides in the country.
Gif loved all his pets, especially his little dogs, Skippy and Ollie, and they loved him in return. It wasn’t uncommon for every pet in the house to nestle into Gif’s lap. In recent months, two cats and a small Chihuahua shared that cozy place. But his great loves were Jesus, his “girls,” Robin, Pam, Bridget and Abbi, all his pets, and his family farm, “Frogshackle Acres.” Aldo Leopold said, “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” Gif loved his 150 acres of woods and marsh located north of Portage. He loved hearing the Sandhill cranes, looking for sign of deer, turkey and other critters. He enjoyed many family picnics under the shade of the old oak trees and took great pride each fall when friends harvested deer off the acreage. He was a poor joke teller but when something struck him as funny his clear blue eyes would twinkle and dance as he’d chuckle and re-count his silly story. He was a proud, active member of Wyocena Community Church and loved singing in the choir for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Robin; his daughters, Pam (Glenn) Puntney and Bridget “Boo” Gifford; his grandchildren, Abbi Gifford, Riley Puntney and Cody Puntney; his sister, Jean (Roger) Arnce; his brothers-in-law, James (Jeannette) Chamberlain, Rick (Karen) Klemp and Mike Klemp; his sister-in-law, Peggy (Mike) Blaska; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carmen and Sidney; and his brother, Steve.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Wyocena Community Church in Wyocena, with the Rev. Mark Brandel officiating. Inurnment will be private. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home (www.pmmfh.com) in Portage, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church.
The family would like to thank Dr. Harnish for years of devoted care and overseeing Gif’s health. Also, deep appreciation to the countless ER teams at St. Mary’s Hospital who would get Gif through what he came to call his “annual tune-up.”