The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 5, 2013

Wilbur Kiffe


— Wilbur Kiffe, 98, of Moorhead, MN, died Sunday, November 3, 2013, at Eventide Lutheran Home, Moorhead, MN. Wilbur Gregory Kiffe was born to Bert and Bertha Kiffe on October 3, 1915 in Mankato, where he grew up and graduated from high school.  During WWII he served in the United States Army Air Force in England from 1942 - 1945, maintaining and repairing communication systemsfor B17s.

 On May 29, 1946, he and Alice Lenihan were married in Mankato, MN. They had three children, Kathy, Beth, and John Kiffe. Bill worked in sales throughout his career. In 1962 he and his family moved from Mankato to Moorhead, and for the next several years, Bill and Alice owned and operated the Fargo Culligan franchise. He later built and ran Soft-Spray car washes in Fargo and Moorhead. Wilbur retired in 1980, from Pat McGrath Construction Equipment after selling heavy construction machinery for 14 years.

 Throughout his life, Wilbur was an avid reader. Every day he read newspapers and magazines to stay current with politics, news events and sports. He enjoyed watching sports, but Bill was never content to merely watch where golf was concerned. He was a member of the Moorhead Country Club for over 50 years, and shot his last hole-in-one there at the age of 90. His friends say that he may be the only man who has ever taken a golf lesson at age 95.

 For many years, Wilbur and Alice wintered in Texas to enjoy the warmth of their snow-bird friends and the New Braunfels weather. Wilbur continued to spend winters in his home-away for many years, including just a year ago, at age 97.

 Wilbur Kiffe is survived by his two daughters, Kathy (Robert) Chevrot, Blanzy, France and Beth (Cole Bacon) Kiffe, St. Cloud, MN; one son, John (Yuko) Kiffe, Encino, CA; four grandchildren, Isabelle (Benjamin) Bataille, Benjamin (Manon) Chevrot, John Kiffe Anderson and Aleyda Kiffe; four great-grandchildren, Achillle and Felix Bataille, Leonore and Samuel Chevrot; niece, Madonna Milow, Fairmont, MN, great-nieces, Maria Langford and Amy Bacon, and his many friends, who were family to him in spirit.

 Wilbur was preceded in death by his wife, Alice; parents, Bertram and Bertha Kiffe; and his step-mother, Margaret Kiffe.

  Visitation: Thursday, November 7, 2013, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. in Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN.

 Funeral: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Moorhead, MN.

 Interment: St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Moorhead, MN.

 Open House Reception: Please join Wilbur's family and friends to celebrate his life:  Friday, November 8, 2013, 1:00 p.m., Moorhead Country Club.

 Online guestbook and video tribute at www.wrightfuneral.com.