Donald Joseph Clift


Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003

Former Alaska resident Donald Joseph Clift died Friday, Aug. 15, 2003, of heart failure at the Merit Care Hospital in Fargo, N.D. He was 69.

Memorial services will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Chaplain Martin Hall will officiate. A celebration of life gathering will follow the services at the AmVets Post No. 4. Interment will be in the Angelus Memorial Cemetery in Anchorage at a later date.

Mr. Clift was born Dec. 9, 1933, in Staten Island, N.Y. He moved to Alaska with his parents at age 10 and attended and graduated from Anchorage High School in 1951. He entered the U.S. Army in 1955 and received an honorable discharge in 1957 with a good conduct medal. He lived in Fairbanks from 1943 to 1969 and moved to Anchorage in 1969, where he lived until 1980.

While in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Mr. Clift worked for the Civil Service for many years. He moved from North Pole to Soldotna in 1982. He enjoyed traveling across the United States for two years and moved to Bemidji, Minn. He returned to Alaska to spend time with his family in 2002 and resided in Ninilchik.

Mr. Clift owned and operated Gnome Home Ceramics and Crafts in Fairbanks. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, AmVets Post No. 4 and the Kenai Men's Darts Association. He loved to go bowling in Fairbanks, Soldotna and Anchorage. He also loved fishing, camping, cooking and had a special interest in classic cars.

"He had a big heart and was very giving and strong," his family said.

Mr. Clift was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph W. and Edna Mary Clift; sister, Lynn Herrick; daughter, Martha Jane Tegoseak; and nephew, Randy Honeycutt.

He is survived by his former wife, Blanche Reed of Fairbanks; special friend, Gail Lindsey, and family of Bemidji; daughter and son-in-law, Edna and Keith Gerke of Nikiski; son, Robert Clift of Soldotna; daughter, Rose M. Clift of Fairbanks; nieces and nephews-in-law, Lori and Mark Rooker of Soldotna and Ellen and Clarence Sewell of Purcell, Okla.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wells Fargo account No. 0081145713, in care of Edna Gerke, 53885 Alexander Road, Kenai, AK 99611.

Local arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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