Hurricane Katrina

Ted Gifford, 79, Ocean Springs

Retirement years for Ted Gifford provided a chance to hone his musical skills and spend more time with the horses he had long enjoyed.

"He was one of the finest clarinet players I ever heard. He was excellent," said Linda Fiorentini with the Gulf Coast Jazz Society. "He was one of the original 200 members when the Jazz Society started in 1978. In recent years, his health prevented his participating a lot, but when he showed up, he played one mighty fine clarinet."

Said Doug deSilvey, "They were both in the Jazz Society. Nadine loved jazz and Ted was a musician. He could play various woodwind instruments and was really good with his clarinet. When Ted played at different places, Nadine would go with him."

Ted and Nadine had been married for 10 years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and retired as Commissary Officer at Keesler AFB.

"As a person, though," Doug said, "he was about his music and he was a horseman. A couple of them almost killed him because he was too old to be fooling with them. He had a ranch up in Wiggins where he had a bunch of horses. He would go up there by himself and Nadine would come up and visit . . . and he would come down here."

He was in his and Nadine's Gulf Hills home on Aug. 29, which was his 79th birthday.