John (Jack) Bennett Gifford, age 76, passed away unexpectedly November 25, 2019. Jack, an amazing husband, father and grandfather was born in Hope, Arkansas to John and Evelyn Gifford. Growing up in the Chicago area, he graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. He received his B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. He served as a Naval officer on the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard during the Viet Nam War, 1967-69.
Jack met his wife of 54 years, Pat Derrick, in Tucson at the U of A. They moved to Oxford in 1972 where Jack took his first teaching position. During his tenure at Miami (1972 to 2007) Jack was known for his love of teaching, emphasis on student learning, innovation in undergraduate education, and mentoring junior faculty. He specialized in Retailing, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing Strategies; his research and writing focused on Marketing/Retail educational practices. He enjoyed having students in his home for international dinners, serving over 4,000 during his 35 years at Miami. Jack served on Oxford City Council (1978-81) and was Vice Mayor. He was a member of Oxford Men’s Club, serving as Treasurer and Secretary over the years. Jack loved spending summers at the family cottage in Michigan where he was an avid boater and kayaker and Treasurer of the Saugatuck Marine Yacht Club.
An adored husband, father, and grandfather, he is survived by his wife, Pat, daughter, Denise Gifford, son Steven Gifford (Sarah), grandchildren Josh, Maddie, Allyssa, and Kyra, niece Heather (Kirk) Laninga, and nephew, Carl (Chris) Gifford. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David Gifford.
A Celebration of Life will be held on February 21, 3:00 – 5:00 pm, at the Goggin Ice Arena Club Lounge. Donations may be made to honor Jack's service and affection for Miami University by sending contributions to the Miami University Foundation, Jack Gifford Fund, 725 East Chestnut, Oxford, OH 45056.
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Miami University Foundation, Jack Gifford Fund
725 East Chestnut, Oxford OH 45056