Claude W. Gifford, of Muscatine, died at his home on Sunday, February 17, 2019.
Claude William Gifford was born at home, in Drury Township, Rock Island County, Illinois, on April 13, 1919. He was the son of Harvey and Minnie Droll Gifford. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a flight instructor during World War II. Claude was a graduate of Muscatine High School (1937), Muscatine Junior College (1939), and Iowa State University (1946).
Claude was married to Helen F. Woolsey, in Waterloo, Iowa, on November 30, 1947.
Claude was Associate Editor of Farm Journal magazine for 23 years. He was active in professional organizations and received the 2008 lifetime achievement award from the American Agricultural Editors Association. He also held various executive positions for 23 years at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, primarily as Director of Information and Assistant Secretary. He was a member of the USDA team that negotiated the 1972 sale of wheat to the Soviet Union; that sale was the first opening of the Iron Curtain after WWII.
He was a long-time member of Cherrydale Methodist Church in Arlington, VA, serving on the board as well as writing a book and teaching an extensive course titled “Revelation Today.”
Claude was preceded in death by his parents, four siblings, his beloved wife Helen in 2007, and his dear friend Roberta Eichelberger in 2018.
His immediate survivor is his son, Steven G. Gifford, of Annandale, VA. Other family members in the Muscatine and Illinois City areas include his niece Shirley (Ralph) Hoag, grand-nieces Mary Watson and Janet (Mark) Clark, grand-nephew Thomas A. (Katie) Watson; great-grand-nieces and -nephews Kari and Marci Clark and Mitchell, Logan, and Ciara Watson.
Online condolences may be left for the Gifford family at www.lewisfuneralhomes.com.