Capt. Robert F. Gifford USMM (Ret), Age 66
Bob passed away peacefully, Sunday, April 28, 2019, at home in Summerville, South Carolina following a long battle with heart disease. A ship Captain who was active his entire life, the loss of his Captain’s License due to the heart disease was a terrible blow. Despite that he fought on and took comfort and found purpose as a home “chef”, often amazing his wife Susan’s co-workers with his gourmet lunches. At his home in Summerville he loved his birds and flowers as he became more house-bound.
Bob called himself an “accidental Yankee” who found peace and joy in his adopted hometown of Summerville.
Born Dec. 23, 1952 in Providence, Rhode Island, he was the son of Dorothy Gifford of Columbia, CT, and the late Fred Gifford.
Bob’s first shipboard job came at the end of his senior year in high school, while his class was attending graduation he was already at sea. In between years of attending the University of Connecticut Bob passed the Coast Guard exams for his first Captain’s license in January 1973.
Traveling from northern Canada to South America, and the Caribbean to Alaska, Bob’s life was truly blessed, with the beauty of our world and the friends he made.
In 2002 Bob’s maritime career took him to one of the oldest companies in Rhode Island as he became a ship’s agent and found new and exciting challenges in dealing with ships, crew’s, cargos and passengers from all over the world. Bob excelled in this work and enjoyed it greatly until heart disease forced his retirement in late summer of 2011.
In addition to his mother, Bob is survived by his wife Susan and daughter Hannah of Summerville. Son Matthew (Jillian) grandsons Pierce, Bretton & Elton; and daughter Rebecca, all of Seekonk, MA. and their mother Laurie MacLeod of Barrington, RI.
Also, his sister Martha Gifford (James Daniels) of Brooklyn, NY and brother Stephen of Columbia, CT. Aunt Elizabeth Peterson of Barrington, RI, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 11 o’clock at St. Paul’s Anglican Church of Summerville, SC with interment of his ashes the at the Chapel of the Palms, Camp St. Christopher, Seabrook Island, SC. a place where Bob found peace with the Lord. His ashes will rest among the dunes at the mouth of the North Edisto River, looking out to sea.
For Bob’s many friends and family in the New England area, a memorial service will be held Saturday, June 22, 2019, @ 10:30 am at the Chapel by the Sea, Colt State Park, Bristol, RI. A Reception will follow.
Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Men’s Christian Conference of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, which had such a profound effect on his spiritual strength.
CMC Scholarship Fund, in memory of Bob Gifford, c/o St. Christopher Camp & Conference Ctr., 2810 Seabrook Island Rd., John’s Island, SC 29455
Arrangements by Parks Funeral Home, 130 West 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483.