Pearl Nicholas Gifford
Pearl Gifford passed away on Saturday, December 13, two days before her 99th birthday. Born to Greek immigrants, Theodore and Annetta Nicholas, Pearl lived a long, and full, life. One of seven children, she grew up immersed in Greek culture…and in the family business that included ice cream parlors and coffee shops. A child of the Depression and two World Wars, Pearl worked hard from a very early age; her poignant experiences formed deep-seated understandings that she wisely imparted to the next generations. She often boasted of the many firsts she witnessed…from airplanes to television to chocolate chip cookies!
In 1945, she married Clarence Gifford, an automobile dealer in Johnstown, New York. During her many loving years with “Giff,” Pearl became an active member of the community, tirelessly volunteering for the PTA, the Johnstown Hospital and the First United Methodist Church. She was a member of the New York State Home Bureau. Golf became a favorite pastime, and Pearl was a regular at the Country Clubs to which she and Giff belonged well into her nineties. In later years, Pearl spent winters in Florida, returning to the family camp on her beloved Caroga Lake, New York, each summer. When living alone became a challenge, Pearl relocated to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to live with family and grew to love the mountains.
Pearl will be remembered for her outgoing personality, strong will and perseverance as well as her great passion for family and friends. Until her very last week, Pearl held a penchant for current events which she avidly followed in the newspaper and on TV. She would often lament about the world order and declare that she was “glad that she was at the other end” of it all!
Mrs. Gifford is survived by: daughters Denise Acee (Ron) and Patricia Valachovic; grandchildren, Erin Donovan (Brent), Lisa Pickett, and Anthony Valachovic (Krista); great-grandchildren Clare and Max Donovan, Alyssa and Michael Pickett, Andrew Valachovic, and Colin and Connor Tull; a sister, Elayne Dageenakis (John) and a large extended family.
A service will be held on December 21 at 1 p.m. at The First United Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs. A private interment will be scheduled in New York at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First United Methodist Church or The Valley View Hospital Heart and Vascular Center.
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