Russell N. "Tim" Gifford 76, of Wrentham, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on February 17, following an illness.
Russell is survived by the love of his life and adoring wife of 29 years, Pamela (Hewitt) Gifford of Wrentham, daughters Jamie (Robby) Barnes of (Harrisville, RI), Allison (Randall) Shelly of Concord, MA, Ashley (Joseph) Kaczynski of Methuen, MA, Lindsey Gifford (Donald Conboy) of Boston, MA, and grandchildren Toni Barnes, Robby Barnes, and Ella Hayes.
He is preceded in death by his parents Norman and Evelyn (Yadisernia) Gifford, brother Charles Gifford and sister Nancy Gifford of Franklin, MA.
Russell graduated from Franklin High School in 1959 where he was described as “the best medicine for any party,” and all that knew him would agree this rang true throughout his life. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone around him feel happy and comfortable, easily making friends everywhere he went. As his family, friends, and “Sunday School” crew would attest, he was a legendary storyteller who could entertain and make you laugh for hours.
Being a father was his true joy and life purpose. He fiercely loved and supported his daughters. He was a hands-on dad who always put his girls first providing endless love, comfort, stability, and friendship. His compassionate and inclusive spirit made him a beloved father figure to so many. He could often be found on his boat cruising around Lake Pearl and taking his grandchildren tubing.
He was also an avid baseball fan and stand-out athlete competing at almost every level of the game—Babe Ruth League, Franklin High School, Legion, Cape Cod League, Town Team, and professionally in the Minnesota Twins minor League system. After an impressive baseball career that took him all over the country, Russell moved back to Franklin and worked in sales for Alson Auto Parts and B & T Auto Supply. He also worked as a bartender at Dixie’s, Reunions, and Fifty’s Lounge where, at age 73, was named the area’s “coolest bartender.”
Calling hours are Thursday, February 22, at the Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home 33 Cottage St. from 4-8 pm.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral Friday, February 23, at 9:15 am from the Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home, followed by a funeral Mass in St. Mary's Church in Franklin at 10 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and American Cancer Society.