Clifford J. Gullikson

Clifford J. Gullikson, age 86, of Yankton, South Dakota, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at Angelhaus in Yankton.

Clifford’s family is planning a memorial service at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Yankton, South Dakota with Reverend Levi Willms officiating. Burial will be at a later date in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in rural Delmont, South Dakota. Cremation services were provided by the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton, South Dakota.

Clifford J. Gullikson was born November 10, 1935, south of Wagner, South Dakota, to Raymond and Muriel (Scott) Gullikson. Cliff grew up on the family farm south of Wagner with 8 siblings. He taught himself how to play guitar and later in his life was a member of several bands. He spent 3 ½ years in the United States Air Force, and during that time married his hometown sweetheart Darlene Kapfenstein in 1956. They moved back to South Dakota in 1957 and settled in Yankton to raise their 5 children. While a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Cliff served as Sunday School Superintendent for many years and was employed with several businesses in Yankton throughout his lifetime. He was very proud to work with the Corps of Engineers at Gavins Point Dam until his retirement in 1997.

Cliff’s passion was his music and time spent playing country western songs with several bands over many years, especially with his brothers Ernie and Gary, and brother-in-law Bernell St. Pierre. One of Cliff’s proudest moments came in 2013 when he was inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cliff is survived by his wife Darlene Gullikson of Yankton, South Dakota; five children: Cheryl, David, Theresa, Betsy, and Melanie; 22 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; four brothers: Vernon, Bud, Ernie, Gary; and sister Pearl.

He was preceded in death by two brothers: Robert and Gordon, and his sister, Carol St. Pierre.

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7 response to "Clifford J. Gullikson"

  1. By: Lynette Snoozy Jones Posted: June 1, 2022

    I am so sad for all of you. Cliff, so very kind and talented. Please find comfort knowing he’s up there playing full time now with a big smile for all of us down here waiting to one day join him.

  2. By: Mark Magera Posted: June 2, 2022

    So sorry to hear about Cliff’s passing. I played in The Drifters band with Cliff, Ross Shuff , Mark Hardy and Jim Moeller back in the 1980s. Cliff was such a great man, and I am proud to have known him, Darlene and the family. I always remember him fondly and am happy that I now own the Fender Telecaster that he owned and played. I treasure it like I treasure our friendship. My prayers of sympathy and condolences go out to his family. I will miss him and wish those who remain God’s peace and may Cliff’s memories be a blessing.

  3. By: Donna (Kuehler) Fyfe Posted: June 2, 2022

    Darlene, so sorry to hear of Cliff’s passing. We enjoyed his talents at our rendezvous! Condolences to the entire family.

  4. By: Muriel Cook Posted: June 2, 2022

    So sorry Darlene for your beloved Cliff’s passing. I always enjoyed talking to you both and also working with you at Dale Electronics so many years ago. Cliff was a really sweet man and loved by many.

  5. By: Kelly Voracek-Sparks Posted: June 3, 2022

    I am sorry to hear of Cliff’s passing. I do remember him at St. John’s and how soft spoken and patient with the little ones. May he go in peace.

  6. By: Amy Kleinschmit-Anderson Posted: June 5, 2022

    I went to school with Betsy. Our parents were also neighbors at Angelhaus due to our fathers health. We just lost our mom too. Your family has our deepest sympathy. May God Hold You All In His Loving Arms & Walk With You Through This Difficult Time.

  7. By: Jason Koller Posted: June 8, 2022

    Very sorry to hear of Cliff’s passing. I worked with Cliff in the late 80’s when I was just a kid. He was always very kind to me no matter how much I horsed around. I have great memories of him. He had a great sense of humor and a lot of patience. Just a great guy to be around. Prayers to Melanie and family, I hope you can find peace in time.

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