The founder of a popular Maine ice cream company, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, passed away this week at the age of 90.
Randall Gifford, of Farmington, Maine, died on Monday, according to his family-submitted obituary.
The ice cream company announced the death of its founder on Facebook Thursday.
“Randall’s legacy will continue to inspire our company and future generations of the Gifford Family,” they wrote on Facebook. “He will be greatly missed.”
According to his obituary, Gifford was born in Portland, Maine, but attended school in Connecticut, where he met his wife, Audrey.
The college sweethearts shared a common love of family and “life’s simple pleasures,” according to Gifford’s website.
“They also grew up in the dairy business and from early on, were steeped in the tradition of delicious old-fashioned ice cream,” the company’s history states.
The Giffords started a dairy company together in Connecticut in 1954, but, in 1971, the couple moved to Farmington, Maine, where they owned and operated Gifford’s Dairy, Inc., founding their ice cream business in Skowhegan three years later.
“The family began creating small batches of creamy ice cream using Audrey’s parents’ recipes for strawberry, peach, wild blueberry, and coffee,” the company said. “The first seasonal ice cream stand was opened in Skowhegan, followed by another in Farmington.”
The company continued to expand, and, today, Gifford’s sells 1.7 million gallons of ice cream a year and has five family-owned and operated stands in Maine.
“It quickly became clear that Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream was something truly special,” the company says. “Made with fresh milk and cream from local dairy farms, it had that old-fashioned, rich flavor that won the hearts of children and families alike.”
Randall Gifford was an “avid bass fisherman” and loved to travel with his wife, and the couple had visited every state in the U.S. except Hawaii, according to his obituary. They spent winters in Florida after they retired.
The 90-year-old’s son, John Gifford, described his father to the Portland Press Herald as a “a self-made, hardworking man.”
“He was a dedicated, caring, faith-driven family man,” he told the newspaper. “He was the one that you could always go to as a mentor, or to bounce an idea off of and he would always give you a straight answer. Whether you liked the answer or not, he was an honest man.”
According to his obituary, Randall Gifford is survived by his wife, daughter, three sons, 14 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
“He loved watching his children and grandchildren participate in their school sports activities,” his family wrote. “He hardly ever missed a game.”
At the ice cream maker’s request, there will be no funeral services, but a memorial graveside service will be held in Farmington this summer, according to his obituary.