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Geoffrey L. Gifford


1946 - 2019
Geoffrey L. Gifford Obituary
(1946 – 2019)Geoffrey L. Gifford, 72, of Chicago passed away on February 9, 2019. He was born on November 26, 1946, in Kirksville, Missouri, to Robert Marvin Gifford and Elnora Francis (Overstreet) Gifford. He lived a full life as a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.Geoff graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri in 1968 and received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1971.Geoff is survived by his wife Terri McAuley of Chicago, his son Andrew Gifford of New Canaan, Connecticut and his daughter Katherine Gifford of Maplewood, New Jersey. Geoff is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Lisa DeLong Gifford, his son-in-law Bill Carlson, his three cherished grandchildren Max Gifford, Nina Carlson and Charlie Carlson, his brother and sister-in-law Robert and Ann Gifford of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, his former wife Jerrilyn Gifford and his beloved dogs Kenney and Pearl. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Sara Swisher. After completing law school, Geoff joined his father's law practice in his hometown of Green City, Missouri, and then served as Prosecuting Attorney and Corporation Counsel for the City of Kirksville, Missouri. Geoff and his family moved to Chicago in 1977. He then joined Asher, Pavalon, Gittler & Greenfield, Ltd. where he began working with Gene Pavalon and developed an expertise in personal injury law, advocating on behalf of injured clients in products liability and medical malpractice cases. In 1989, Gene and Geoff established Pavalon & Gifford where Geoff continued to practice. He also associated with Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, in recent years.He served as president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association in 1996 when he led a constitutional challenge of tort reform legislation that resulted in the law being overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court. This led to Geoff being named as a finalist for the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice 1998 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. In 2007, he was awarded the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association's Leonard M. Ring Lifetime Achievement Award. Geoff was also active with charitable and philanthropic organizations. He served as a member of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic Advisory Board, a member of the Board of Directors of the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation and a member of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Geoff actively supported St. Ignatius College Prep and the Western Golf Association's Evans Scholars program. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Geoff Gifford may be made to the St. Ignatius College Prep Tuition Assistance Fund (https://invest.ignatius.org/page/support/ways-to-give/tuition-assistance) or the Western Golf Association's Evans Scholars Foundation (www.wgaesf.org).A memorial service and celebration of life for family and friends will be held at St. Ignatius College Prep, 1076 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL, on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 11 am.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 15, 2019
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