Deanna Lynn Gifford

February 22, 1945 ~ February 21, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Deanna Gifford Obituary

With much sadness, we share that Deanna Gifford passed away on February 21, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. Although we are sad, we also feel joy because we all had the honor and good fortune of having her in our lives. Deanna was born February 22, 1945, in Hartford and grew up in Manchester and East Hartford, Connecticut. Deanna was a graduate of Penney High School in East Hartford. She moved to Broad Brook, Connecticut where she raised her sons, met lifelong friends, enjoyed her retirement, and lived with her husband, Jim.

Deanna had many names and was many things to many people. Daughter, Sister, Wife, Ma, Mother, Grandma, Auntie, Cousin, Mother-in-law, Di, Dee, Deedee, Babushka and she answered to them all because she was something special to everyone. She was loved dearly by all her family, including her predeceased parents, her sister Lorelle, nephew Kenny, several cousins, late husband, David, and her beloved dog, Ace.

Deanna was a beautiful soul who overflowed with love and devotion to her family. She was always a fierce supporter of her children, grandchildren, and those she loved. She loved to attend their school concerts, sporting events and family gatherings, and always enjoyed (insisted on) doing the dishes. For many years, she spent weekends at the campground with family and friends. Deanna carried on holiday traditions for her children and grandchildren with singing Christmas carols around the tree and baking Danish cookies and desserts. She enjoyed going out to dinner for special occasions or just for fun, because time with her family was always important.

Deanna loved animals, with a particular affinity for giraffes, hummingbirds, and dogs. Her collection of giraffes cultivated over time included artwork and gifts from family and friends and all were lovingly displayed throughout her home. Hummingbirds are often seen as symbols of love, joy, beauty, devotion, and are known for being fierce defenders of their territory. Deanna embodied all of these traits and more and was truly a fierce defender of her territory, her family.

Deanna leaves behind her husband, James Gifford. Jim and Deanna, lifelong friends, united in marriage on June 16, 2018. Their time together was far too short, but they made the most of every moment. A honeymoon trip to Hawaii, a road trip for pizza in Vermont, day trips traveling the Mohawk Trail, annual multi-day trips to Eastern States, and countless visits with family and friends.

Her family and friends will greatly miss her daily presence. She is survived by her huge, blended family. In addition to her husband Jim, Deanna leaves behind her son Kevin Pedersen and daughter-in-law Leah Pedersen, son Eric Pedersen and girlfriend, Suzanne Midura, bonus daughter & son and great friends Susan and Leslie Caron, and Laurie Galarneau and husband Richard. Grandchildren William and Alicia, Colin and Emma, Scott and JoAnn, Julie and Tim, Connor, Erin and her husband, Carl. Great grandchildren Matthew, Michael and Hunter, Gabrielle, Jessica, Angel and Conner, and Elliotte. Nieces Debbie and Michelle, nephew Richard. In addition, Deanna had many special nieces and nephews from her extended and blended family. Also left behind, many lifelong and dear friends including Ellen, Sandy, Valerie, Barbara and Peggy.

The family would like to thank the Critical Care Unit staff at Manchester Memorial Hospital for their care and attention to Deanna during her illness.

Please join the family on Saturday, March 2nd at Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, 400 Main St, Manchester, Connecticut. Calling hours are from 11 am - 1 pm, with a service to follow immediately afterwards. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association CT/Western MA Office.

As we celebrate Deanna’s life, please remember her rule to always have cake on your birthday!

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Deanna Lynn Gifford, please visit our floral store.

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Calling Hours / Wake
March 2, 2024

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Holmes Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040

Memorial Service
March 2, 2024

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040


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