The Life of Evan Richard Kifer
Evan "Richard" Kifer was born in 1922 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He was the fifth child of Ora Champ Kifer and Raymond Kifer and had five brothers and two sisters. It was a large and loving family, and Richard always remembered his mother for her love and patience and his father for his faith and hard work. His parents were fortunate to own their home where his parents lived for fifty years. All eight children were born at home. The family lived through the hardship of the Depression and...
The Life of Evan Richard Kifer
Evan "Richard" Kifer was born in 1922 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He was the fifth child of Ora Champ Kifer and Raymond Kifer and had five brothers and two sisters. It was a large and loving family, and Richard always remembered his mother for her love and patience and his father for his faith and hard work. His parents were fortunate to own their home where his parents lived for fifty years. All eight children were born at home. The family lived through the hardship of the Depression and never even owned an automobile. But the family had a Victrola phonograph to listen to opera and classical music as well as owning a radio where they would gather around for baseball games, favorite radio programs, and spooky programs like "Lights Out" and "Inner Sanctum". Richard had an incredible memory and could recall many of the details of his childhood, even his telephone number 502-W and that a matinee movie cost 10 cents.
Richard was very close to his neighbors, the Lane family. They were like a second family, and Richard considered the Lane children, Ethel and Ralph, like a sister and a brother. When the Lane's youngest child, Grace, fell from her high chair and died, the Lanes asked Richard's mother if they could keep Richard at their home for weekends and other occasions. Daddy Lane was an artist and probably inspired and encouraged Richard's great artistic ability. Richard remained lifelong friends with Ethel. Richard graduated from Canonsburg High School in 1940 and went on to attend Robert Morris Business School in Pittsburgh. The Lanes paid for his business school tuition.
At nineteen Richard met the love of his life, Anna Jane. They worked at the same company; but Richard, being a little shy and also having heard that Anna Jane was dating someone, never asked her for a date. Anna Jane took a job with another company, and Richard lost his opportunity. One day his cousin asked him if he was dating anyone, and when Richard told him no, his cousin said I know a really sweet girl, Anna Jane. So the cousin arranged for their first date. They went to movies and some nice dinners, but Richard, shy and always the gentleman, had been reluctant to give Anna Jane a goodnight kiss. After several dates, Richard showed up at her door. She walked up to him, took his face in her hands, and gave him their first kiss. They had a nine-month courtship and were married for fifty-eight years.
Daughters Diana and Judy came along, and Richard and Anna Jane were loving and devoted parents. Richard always said that his two daughters were the greatest joy of his life, especially after having five brothers.
Richard had a long and successful career as a financial manager in the aluminum can manufacturing business starting in Pittsburgh, then to Manhattan NY, and then to Colorado. He and his family had vacationed in Colorado, and he fell in love with the state. When a business opportunity arose in 1962, Richard moved the family to Colorado, and he helped establish Jeffco Manufacturing in Golden. He worked for Ball Corporation and Goldco Industries where he retired at the age of 82. Richard traveled extensively during his business career, and when his family asked him about his business activities and travels, he came up with five pages of business trips, conventions, breweries visited, and even a list of all the can plants he had worked at or visited including their plant identification number.
Richard and Anna Jane enjoyed their retirement years together, traveling to places like Hawaii, California, and Europe, until she passed away in 2001. Their grandchildren, Tara, Minden, Christina and Ryan brought them much joy, and Richard and Anna Jane were fun and loving grandparents. The grandkids couldn't wait to go over to their house to be loved and spoiled. Family was everything to them, and Richard was also blessed with three great grandsons, Cormac, Liam, and Andrew and another great grandson who will arrive in May. After losing Anna Jane, Richard spent his time drawing, and his love of art and his artistic talent can be seen throughout his drawings, which were published in an art book last fall. His art book is on display for you to see. Richard also loved opera, classical music, old movies, and was a lifelong sports enthusiast.
Mother, Ora Champ Kifer, was born in Pennsylvania. Her family was from England and came to this country in the 17th century. Family records indicate that her ancestors came over on the Mayflower.
Father, Raymond Walthour Kifer, was also born in Pennsylvania. His family was from Germany, and family tombstones in a Pennsylvania cemetery date back to the 1700's.
Richard, 92, of Wheat Ridge passed away peacefully on March 27. He is survived by his daughters Judy (Bruce) DeCook and Diana (Terry) Ten Eyck, four grandchildren, and three great grandsons. His beloved wife, Anna Jane, preceded him in death. His celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Friday at Olinger Crown Hill, Tower of Memories.