Coy G. Gifford

Coy Glendon Gifford passed away June 1, 2017, at the age of 95 surrounded by his family.

Born on an Oklahoma farm on Aug. 26, 1921, to Jay and Nora Gifford, Coy had five brothers (Perry, Melvin, Ralph, Glenn and Bill) and five sisters (Audis, Vera, Allene, Buena Mae and Lahretta).

Coy came to California in 1940 and was drafted into the Army in 1942. He was shipped overseas to Casablanca, wounded in Anzio and hospitalized in Naples, Italy, for three months. He was reclassified and assigned to an Italian troop ship, which went to all Mediterranean Sea ports. Honorably discharged in 1945, Coy was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Expert Infantry Rifle Badge, Combat Ribbon and Presidential Citation.

Coy was hired at China Lake on Jan. 4, 1948, and retired on the same date in 1974.

He enjoyed spending summers camping and waterskiing at Lake Diaz and fishing at Lone Pine Creek. Many people learned how to water-ski from Coy behind his boat. He was an excellent skier and was always ready to provide guidance and encouragement to anyone who wanted to learn. He enjoyed teaching the grandkids to water-ski and fish and sharing his fishing “secrets” with them. He took great pride and was well known for his perfectly pruned trees and well-manicured yard.

Coy leaves his wife of 68 years, Dorothy Gifford; sons Michael (Marilyn) Gifford of Bakersfield and William Gifford of Ridgecrest; grandchildren Brian (Lisa) Gifford of Reno, Eric Gifford of Bakersfield, Krystle (Justin) Coffman of Willits, Jay Gifford of Bishop and Nicole (James) Elroy of Lancaster; and great-grandchildren Hannah, Reese, Gavin Coy, and Rylee Gifford.

Graveside services will be held June 24 at 11 a.m. at Desert Memorial Park.

— Submitted by the family of Coy Gifford

Story First Published: 2017-06-23