Larry Gifford, 73, of Jerome, Idaho, left this world on Sunday, September 6, 2020 to be reunited with the love of his life, Carole, and their Savior Jesus Christ for all eternity. Larry, who was always younger on the inside than on the outside, is living happily and pain free dwelling with Jesus in the Mansions of Heaven.
Larry was the son of Levi and Verlyn Gifford, born in Shelley, Idaho on January 14, 1947. A lifelong Jerome resident, Larry was a curious child who loved to build things, a theme that lasted his entire life. He was captivated by model airplanes and trains and spent a majority of his childhood and teenage years building them and showing them off to his little sister, Julie. As a teenager, he enjoyed spending time with his friends, trying to stay out of trouble, and often “cruising down the ‘Main Street drag’ with pals”, as he loved to describe to his kids and grandkids. In his late teenage years, Larry started working for his father at Gifford Masonry, and discovered that his passion for building things was landing him a very viable career in mason work. Eight days before his 20th birthday, Larry married his brown-eyed beauty, Carole Caldwell in Jerome on January 6, 1967. Larry and Carole welcomed their first child, Rhonda, on June 26, 1969. Three years later, on June 17, 1972 they welcome their other baby girl, Jodi.
Larry and Carole were wonderful parents, working to give the best life possible for their girls and making family time a priority. Friday nights at the bowling alley were a tradition, as Larry loved to participate in the local bowling league and did for many years. In addition to picking up many other hobbies as a father, Larry also made a change in careers when he decided to work as a truck driver for his father-in-law’s trucking company. Larry drove for Southern Idaho Transport for 25 years before retiring to become a full-time grandpa.
Larry was first and foremost a family man, who loved spending time with his family whenever he could. He was never one to turn down a card game, especially if it meant that he could spend time at the table with his family. He loved camping, hunting with his nephews and sons-in-law, and vacationing to the Oregon Coast. He was an eternal child at heart, always looking for the newest and most fun toys he could get his hands on, even late in his life.
In 2011, Larry and Carole started construction on their dream house, and while Carole passed before she was able to live in it, Larry honored her by filling the home with family and friends as often as possible. It was here that he befriended neighbors who became family and shared meals and parties with them just as his own family did. This last summer, he and his sister coordinated their first ever family reunion, where Larry was filled with pride and joy seeing his family with his nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews all together, enjoying each other’s company. He was happiest with his house full of people and knew that watching the love between his family was the greatest gift he could have ever received. Larry will continue to watch the love grow between his families and the memories that will continue to be made amongst all of his loved ones. It is with this knowledge that his family finds peace and looks forward to meeting him again someday.
Larry was preceded in death by his wife, Carole Ann; his parents, Verlyn and Levi Gifford; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Harold and Thelma Caldwell; his son-in-law, Jay Ostler; and his sister-in-law, Betty Kuhn.
He is survived by his daughters, Rhonda (Greg) Bartholomew, their daughter Cailee Bartholomew; his daughter, Jodi Ostler, her daughter Tyler Ostler, and her son Trever Ostler (Baylie Somerset); his sister, Julie Lehmann, her daughters Katina Harrison and Jamie Davis and their families, her sons Justin Lehmann and Josh Lehmann and his family; his sisters-in-law, Roberta VonWeller and Mary Sorensen; and brother-in-law, David Caldwell and all of their families.
A viewing will be held at 3:00 pm, Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Farnsworth Mortuary & Crematory, 1343 S Lincoln Ave, Jerome, with a graveside service following at 4:00 pm at Jerome Cemetery, Jerome.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Larry’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.
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