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Obituary of David Gifford, 96


David Ralph Gifford, 96, of State College, died Monday, February 11, 2019, at The Village at Penn State Atrium.

David was born on December 25, 1922, in Rensselaer, Jasper County, IN, the second son of the late Gerald Edwin and Lora May George Gifford. He graduated from Lowell High School in Lowell, IN in 1940; Penn State College, State College, PA in 1948; and The Army Command and General Staff College in 1970.

David married Lola M. Torbet, on April 25, 1943 in Jasper County, IN. In May 1943, the US Army sent them to State College, PA as part of the Army Specialized Training Program at Pennsylvania State College. In 1944, David was transferred to the Army Combat Engineers and served in the South Pacific area. He returned to State College in 1946 and completed his degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1948. Having fallen in love with State College, David and Lola decided to stay. David was employed by Penn State University as a professional engineer for 36 years. He served in the US Army Reserves for more than 33 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

In November of 2003, David and Lola moved to The Village at Penn State, a life care facility in State College. David served on The Village Council and various village committees including, building, finance, marketing, activities, and election committees. He was a very active member of the State College Presbyterian Church, having joined the church in 1950. He served as a deacon, trustee, and elder.

David was a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association. He was always interested in Penn State sports. He designed and operated score boards for football and indoor sports. After operating the score board for gymnastics for more than 50 years, David was made a honorary member of the men's gymnastics team, who went on to win the NCAA Championship in 2000.

David is survived by three children, Alan Gifford and his wife, Susan, of McKees Rocks, PA, Sharon Gifford of State College, PA, and William Gifford and his wife, Mary Alice, of Sugar Land, TX; three grandchildren, David, Leanne, and Austin; two great-grandchildren, Nicolas and Eli; brother, Larry Gifford and his wife, Muriel, of Demotte, IN; sister, Loretta Padget of Rensselaer, IN; sister-in-law, Betty Gifford of Rensselaer, IN; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

David was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife, Lola on April 30, 2006, shortly after celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary. He was also preceded in death by his oldest infant son, Roger Lynn Gifford; sisters, Ruth Ann Gifford as an infant, and Nona Swiss; brothers, Durwood Gifford as an infant, Darold Gifford, and Wayne Gifford.

Burial will be in Weston Cemetery, Rensselaer, IN. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the State College Presbyterian Church Flower Fund, 132 W Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801, the State College Food Bank, 1321 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801, or any charity of the donor's choice, in memory of David Ralph Gifford.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

David Gifford



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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