Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Gary Vance Gifford

Nevada Department of Public Safety - Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada

End of Watch Tuesday, October 14, 1975

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Reflections for Trooper Gary Vance Gifford

I am the Grandson of Trooper Gary Gifford, my name is Trevor Gary Gifford. I'd like to thank all of you for the stories and kind and heartfelt comments you've left about my grandfather. I couldn't be more proud to be named after him. I'm 17, and have always wanted to know my grandfather, but sadly never had the chance to. I'd love to hear more about him from anyone who has memories, or stories about him. Once again, thank you all.

Trevor Gifford

April 11, 2021

Was just going by your memorial sign on Highway 50 in Stateline. You are not forgotten. Bless you and your family.

Retired Deputy II Lynn Hodges
Orange Co Sheriff’s Dept. Calif

November 7, 2020

Trooper Gifford,

My heart is heavy after watching your episode on Real Stories of the Highway Patrol. Nothing good to say about the one that took your life, so I won't. As time goes by, many hearts are either broken or heavy felt. However, with today's pandemic. I am happy to see that you are no longer suffering and would not have to experience what we have to deal with today regarding targeted LEOs. You are considered a hero and will always be a hero. Please continue to look over your loved ones. Rest In Peace and rest well, your family and loved ones will reunite with you again one day.

P. Nguyen
Armed Security Officer

September 3, 2020

I think of Trooper Gifford frequently even today after being medically retired , as member of the trauma team that he was delivered to at the hospital, emotions were running very high for all of us while we waited as we'd heard via radio "Trooper down". I know we/I were devestated as there was nothing we could do to save him. I lived in Tahoe 46 years, I also did 10 years on ambulance as well as being a Respiratory Therapist. So I'm fully familiar with what happened there which was pre Paramedic level care days in EMS care. My last 16 years I commuted to the med center in Carson City, NV. and passed that scene and remembered "that day" in Oct 1975 numerous times

RIP Trooper Gifford, yes sir you are not forgotten. God Bless

Robert E Burns, RCP, CRTT
Respiratory Care Dept Manager Barton Memorial Hospital 1972-1992

June 17, 2020

I think of Trooper Gifford frequently even today after being medically retired , as member of the trauma team that he was delivered to at the hospital, emotions were running very high for all of us while we waited as we'd heard via radio "Trooper down". I lived in Tahoe 46 years, I also did 10 years on ambulance as well as being a Respiratory Therapist. So I'm fully familiar with what happened there which was pre Paramedic level care days in EMS care. My last 16 years I commuted to the med center in Carson City, NV. and passed that scene and remembered "that day" in Oct 1975 numerous times

RIP Trooper Gifford, yes sir you are not forgotten. God Bless

Robert E Burns, RCP, CRTT
Respiratory Care Dept Manager Barton Memorial Hospital 1972-1992

June 17, 2020

I think of Trooper Gifford frequently, as member of the trauma team that he was delivered to at the hospital, emotions were running very high for all of us while we waited as we'd heard via radio "Trooper down". I lived in Tahoe 46 years, I also did 10 years on ambulance as well as being a Respiratory Therapist. So I'm fully familiar with what happened there which was pre Paramedic level care days in ambulance care. My last 16 years I commuted to the med center in Carson City, NV. and passed that scene and remembered "that day" in Oct 1975 numerous times

RIP Trooper Gifford, yes sir you are not forgotten. God Bless

Robert Burns, RCP, CRTT, EMT2
Dept Manager, Respiratory Care Dept Barton Memorial Hospital 1972-1992

June 17, 2020

I often think of Gary, Still have a portrait of him. How we played growing up his dog Lake the house the family gatherings. He was my cousin a very special young man. I remember the call coming in while we at the dinner table. We just knew something was wrong before a word had been said. Auntie Dee was my moms sister.. Gary forever in our heart

Victoria D Steinhorst
Cousin

March 3, 2020

Trooper Gary Gifford you are not forgotten. It’s New Year’s Day 2020 and as I passed on the memorial highway enjoying a spectacular and beautiful Tahoe day, I honor you and your love for this community and dedication to its safety.

J Phillips (community members)
None

January 1, 2020

Rest in peace Trooper Gifford.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 28, 2019

In 1982, I was a young NHP cadet and was reminded of the murder of Trooper Gifford. Coincidentally, I was station at Lake Tahoe for my first duty assignment and worked with those men who knew and worked with Trooper Gifford. Not a shift went by that I did not reflect upon his ultimate sacrifice as I drove through Cave Rock tunnel while sweeping my beat. To this day, even after I had moved on from the NHP, I reflect on that day every October. Those who have served at the Lake Tahoe sub-station have a special bond.

CHP State Traffic Ofcr. Folke Lilyquist
1989 NHP #6173

July 18, 2015

I was dating gary and when I heard that he didn't respond and they finally found him shot . It was the last time I ever had a scanner.

dispatcher for placer county

December 3, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 38th anniversary year of your death. I am privileged to be among the first to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.

My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen officer Larry Lasater

November 13, 2013

Today marks the 36th anniversary of your passing on. You will always be missed and remembered. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifise in order to protect life and property.

Firefighter Tom Griswold
Carlin VFD

October 14, 2011

Trooper Gifford,
On today, the 36th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well well when you served in the USN. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

Anonymous
USBP

October 14, 2011

Gary Gifford stays within my mind and my heart always. For 36 years I have spent many a day thinking of him and also of his parents Dee and Vance.

Gary was to be our Best Man in November. He had dinner with us the night before his untimely death and had come by in the morning to say hello and confirm another dinner for the next day. We saw and spoke to him approximately 4 hours before that terrible incident. We tired to talk him into taking the day off and coming with us to Reno to get our marriage license. He said he'd like to, but just had to do his shift. Gary loved what he did and seemed to do it with a great passion. I have often thought over the years how things would have been different if we just could of talked him out of going to work that day. It haunts and saddens me at times. I go up to the cemetery where his ashes are placed, along with his father,Vance, whenever I get to the Peninsula.
I reflect on our friendship and all the years we've missed sharing together, especially he and my ex-husband, who Gary was a best friend to as well as his best man. I would of liked to talk to his son and tell him what a wonderful man his father was, but I'm sure he's been told many times. Gary was a true friend and a loyal defender of the law. He gave the department and the citizens he worked to keep safe the ultimate sacrifice a person can give...his life. Rest in Peace our dear friend. You will always be our hero.
Sincerely and with a great sense of loss even after almost 36 years, Laura (Nichols) Squellati

Laura Squellati
A Friend

September 8, 2011

Almost 35 years ago, my family and I witnessed this tragedy. I am so happy to see a memorial for these brave officers and to finally put a face with the name. I never knew what Trooper Gifford looked like or how young he was. I will never forget that tragic day and pray for Trooper Gifford and his family.

Rest in peace.

Polly Stoeff Roberts
Witness

April 6, 2011

I am truly amazed to find this web site. Gary was my brother, and I am happy to see that people appreciate, and care about his loss. Thank you all. Pamela Gifford aka Pickles

Anonymous

July 9, 2010

I have always driven by the sign that marks the spot where Trooper Gifford's life was taken and thought, to myself, how very sorry I am to his family for their loss. It wasn't until yesterday, that I realized that the coach of my son's little league team is Gary's son. Thank you, Trooper Gifford, for the sacrifice you made to keep our community safe. I am truly heart-broken that you missed out on seeing what a wonderful man that your son grew up to be, despite losing his Daddy in such a terrible way. May God bless you and the family you left behind. Rest in peace. Sincerely, Aimee Duffy

Aimee Duffy
Wife of a DCSO Sheriff Sergeant.

April 8, 2010

Back in early high school days at Campbell High, I got the unfortunate nickname "pancake" from Gary's sister, who's nickname was "pickles". There were two of us Garys so someone had to suffer a nickname. Gary was bigger, stronger, cooler and all other things more than I, so "pancake" it was.

I can't say how much my heart is broken to find my friend is gone. I wish I could have magically warned him to be extra careful on the awful day of his death.

Gary Gifford was easy to love. There was a special quality about him that made life more real for me. He knew how to freely and easily experience the world around him. If he had doubts, I never saw them.

So this was his choice. I might have tried to advise him to take a safer course, but I'm sure he would have had his own way.

Even though we never reconnected after early high school, I'm deeply hurt at his loss. He may be blessed by not seeing how the world has changed since his passing, but the years of life he missed just break my heart.

Farewell, my old friend, and I plan to see you again sometime.

Pancake

Gary Pintacura
high school friend

May 16, 2008

Trooper Gary Gifford may you rest in peace, I was working that night in South Lake Tahoe and I remember when the call came in about your incident. May God bless you and thank you for your service, RIP brother of the badge.

Bob Reed, Retired Police Officer
South Lake Tahoe Police Department

March 15, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 11, 2007

We remember you today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

October 12, 2007

Trooper Gifford,

Thank you for your service..... Rest in peace my BROTHER and walk the Heavens beat......

Senior Officer D.W.Reichhardt #125
VSUPD

June 6, 2006

I thank you for your service and salute you for your sacrifice.

Rest in peace, hero.

A grateful citizen.

September 23, 2004

27 years later and you are not forgotten. Rest easy, Troop; we will continue the fight for justice.

Deputy M. Moore
Warren County S.O. (OH)

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