Gordon T. Giffen, 82, of West Richland and a former Sunnyside resident, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, March 6, 2008.

Gordon was born June 27, 1925 in St. Vincent, Minn., the son of Harry and Hannah (Hustad) Giffen. He graduated from Pembina High School in North Dakota in 1944.

Gordon worked in the timber industry in Minnesota and was a gold miner in the early 1950s at Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D. and then moved to California.

On Oct. 4, 1960, he married Rhoda Hughes in Hallock, Minn. From 1960 to 1990 the Giffens lived in California, where Gordon worked for a local machine shop as a deliveryman. In 1990, Gordon and Rhoda moved to Sunnyside. Gordon and his son, Ross, worked side-by-side establishing Ross's gravel business, Snipes Mountain Gravel.

Gordon was a cheerful, generous man, whose life motto was "Say Little, Serve All, Pass On." A sculptor and friend of the family, Nathan Scott of Victoria, British Columbia, was inspired by Gordon's "lived in" face and asked permission to make a life-size statue of him.

Gordon enjoyed the notoriety of having Nathan's work of art displayed in his yard. The light of Gordon's life for the past 12 years was his grandson, Luke, whom he called "Wiggins."

Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Rhoda Giffen of West Richland; a daughter-in-law, Luci Giffen; grandson, Luke Giffen of American Falls, Idaho; one brother, Joe Giffen of Minnesota; and two sisters, Gladys Clow of Canada and Ruth Page of California.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two infant daughters, Janean and Rhonda; one son, Ross Giffen in 1999; and five brothers.

Viewing and visitation will be held today, March 10, 2008, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, March 11, 2008, from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Burial will be held at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to share their memories or sign Gordon's online register may do so at

Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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