William W. Gifford
Poughkeepsie - William W. Gifford, 86, a longtime resident of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away on August 21, 2015 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.
Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1928, where he grew up, Bill received his B.A. degree from Swarthmore College and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He married Alice Heyroth in 1950, a marriage that lasted 62 years until her death in 2013. They had two children, Caroline, and Daniel (who died in 2011).
Bill joined the Department of English at Vassar College in 1955 and taught a variety of courses there until his retirement in 1996. He was best known for his classes in creative writing and Shakespearean drama.
A number of his students have become successful writers and teachers, and he maintained close touch with them over the years.
Bill and Alice were passionate about opera and were subscribers to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. They were enthusiastic travelers and spent time in California, Mexico, Germany, and England, favoring cities with a rich musical heritage. Summers saw them with their children at a cottage in Craigville on Cape Cod, where friends joined them to visit.
Bill is survived by his daughter Caroline. Many friends, colleagues, and former students will mourn his passing, but remember his wisdom, wit, generosity, and humanity.A memorial service is planned for Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 3.00pm in the Vassar College Chapel, Poughkeepsie, NY with a reception following.In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts to the William Gifford Fund for Visiting Writers at Vassar College. Arrangements are under the direction of Wm. G. Miller & Son FH, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Pok, NY 12603. If you wish to send a condolence visit our website at www.wmgmillerfuneral home.com
Published by Poughkeepsie Journal from Sep. 8 to Dec. 9, 2015.