He ws born May 5, 1949, in Kirkland, Wash., to Lee and Marjorie Gifford. He grew up in Canyonville, Or. and Fort Bragg, Calif., before moving to the Rogue Valley in 1963. He attended McLaughlin Junior High, before moving to Central Point where he graduated from Crater High School.
His happiest childhood years were in Fort Bragg, where he made many life long friends, played baseball, fished and enjoyed swimming. Although he did not graduate from Fort Bragg, the Class of 1968 invited Lee and his wife to their 2008 reunion.
Upon graduating from high school, Lee entered the Army, serving in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne as a paratrooper. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of sergeant E-5. He earned several medals, including the Bronze Star. He worked at Medco and on Nov. 2, 1974, Lee married his high school love, Judy
He began driving log trucks in 1977 and a couple of years later went to work for F.V. Martin Trucking for 23 years. He went on to drive for U.S.F. Reddaway for 12 years. He retired with a perfect driving record.
His family was the most important in his life. He enjoyed trips to the Oregon dunes, ATVing with family, and he was an avid hunter and later, muzzle load hunter. He did flat track motorcycle racing early in his marriage and accumulated dozens of trophies. After his children were grown, he raced dwarf cars. In 2010, he won 2nd place at the National Western States Dwarf Car Championship Senior Division in Nevada. He was a well respected shuffle board player and won many first place trophies.
Lee is survived by his wife of almost 37 years, Judy; son, Jesse, of Eagle Point; daughter, Jennifer, of Springdale, Utah; brothers, Loren Johnson (Minda) of Medford and Don Gifford (Sandra) of Eagle Point; sisters, Vi Wentworth, of Eatonville, Wash., Donna Tripp (Jack) of Monroe, Wash., Janice Barnes of Redmond, Wash., Jeanette Applebee, of Blaine, Wash., and Sandy Morgan (Bill) of Battleground, Wash.
Lee is sure to be remembered by all who knew him as a man with great integrity and honesty. He is greatly loved and will be sorely missed,
The service for Lee Gifford was Monday, July 11, at 5 p.m. on the lawn at the south end of the Committal Building, at the Eagle Point National Cemetery.