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Kevin Giffen Obituary

Kevin  Giffen
Kevin Giffen

January 21, 1928 - August 7, 2017
Born in Detroit, Michigan
Resided in Palo Alto, CA

Obituary

Kevin Giffen died in his sleep in Menlo Park, California, the morning of August 7, 2017.

Kevin was born in Detroit, Michigan after his family immigrated from Ireland. He was the sixth of seven children, and the last to die. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Elinor, and is survived by their two children, Sean and Mary. Kevin was an adoring father-in-law to Fatima and a loving grandfather to Caitlin, Kevin, Colin, Catherine and Liam. Kevin also benefited from the support and friendship of long time neighbors, Faith and Steve Witte.

In 1945, with his mother's blessing, Kevin enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. He would go on to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot, ultimately flying in the Korean War, and earning an Air Medal and National Defense Service Medal. He met his future wife, Elinor, while in the Navy; they were married at Whiting Field in 1955. Kevin eventually transitioned to the reserves where he served long enough to obtain career status and the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Kevin started his education while on active duty, and then attended The University of Michigan as a full time student where he earned an engineering degree and a Masters in Business Administration. After receiving his MBA, his first job was working as an engineer on the Eagle Missile Program at Bendix. Kevin spent the majority of his private sector career as a sales and marketing leader. His most memorable role was as VP of Sales at Granger Associates. Between his time in the Navy and in business, Kevin traveled the globe.

Kevin never lost his love for flying and spent many years operating Sky Sailing, a glider airport in Fremont. He was able to stay involved for many years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992. Kevin’s will to live and dry sense of humor never left him. His final years were spent in assisted living where he used his charm to stay in favor with the staff.

Kevin’s Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday August 19th at 12 pm at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 3233 Cowper St. in Palo Alto.

We will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

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