Cliff Digre (right) at the 1-26-2011 8th AFHS-Mn Luncheon
Clifford B. Digre, B-17 Ball Turret Gunner, United States Army Air Forces, Eighth Air Force, 457th Bomb Group, 749th Squadron.
Clifford Digre, wrote a comprehensive and interesting book about his wartime experiences, based on a diary and other documents he kept, called Into Life's School: My World War II Memories. Visit his website.
Cliff gave an excellent presentation, which was videotaped, at the 8th AFHS-Mn luncheon on June 13, 2012 with his son, Dan. Cliff's wife, Beatrice, children, and grandchildren also attended and we celebrated his birthday. Unfortunately his pilot, Robbie Robertson, had an accident just before getting on the plane to come to the meeting and he could not attend. Cliff is the founder of the MISCO speaker company and his son is the current President.
Cliff at Air Expo 2011
Clifford Benjamin Digre died November 25, 2012, in Prior Lake, MN, at his home with his wife and children at his side. Cliff was born on May 26, 1923, in Hendricks, Minnesota, to Peder and Carrie Digre. He graduated from Hendricks High School, was drafted into the Army Air Corps (later the U.S. Air Force), and served as a ball-turret gunner and radio-operator with the 8th Air Force in World War II, stationed in Glatton, England.
After the war he met the love of his life, E. Bernice Hoversten. They were married in 1947 and moved to Minneapolis where Cliff attended National Radio School. He founded his first company, Vet’s Radio, located in a small shed, that employed himself and another student repairing radios.
Cliff founded Minneapolis Speaker and Reconing Company, and later began manufacturing loudspeakers. This led to the establishment of Minneapolis Speaker Company (MISCO). MISCO initially pursued the drive-in theater market and later branched out to OEM manufacturing of loudspeakers for aerospace, medical equipment, and professional audio.
Today, under the direction of Cliff’s son, Dan, MISCO serves international markets and is a leading manufacturer of loudspeakers and audio equipment in the United States. Cliff held three U.S. patents related to magnetic circuits. All are in use to this day.
After semi-retirement from MISCO, Cliff wrote about the people he met and the experiences he had while serving in World War II—Into Life’s School—My World War II Memories. (www.intolifesschool.com) He has been a guest speaker at air shows, libraries, Wings of the North Air Expo, the 8th Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota, and the World War II History Roundtable in Minneapolis. At his death, he was writing his second book, The MISCO Story.
Cliff Digre was president and a board member of ALMA (American Loudspeaker Manufactuing Association), and he served as a board member of the 457th Bomb Group. Cliff was a 50-year member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, serving on the church council. He was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Cliff’s proud Norwegian heritage and steadfast Lutheran faith didn’t simply influence who he was; they were who he was, with the addition of his own brand of hard work, persistence, curiosity, and appreciation for his family, friends, Bernice’s cooking and care, their lake home, music, sports, current events, learning, travel, and the turn of a good phrase, all of which occupied him for his busy and fulfilling 89 and a half years.
Cliff and Bernice, his wife of 65 years, lived in the Fulton neighborhood for 47 years where their four children all graduated from Southwest High School. He is preceded in death by his father Peder, mother Carrie, brother Gerhard, and sisters Gurine, Clara, and Pearl. Cliff is survived by his wife Bernice Hoversten Digre, children Kathleen Digre (Michael Varner), Rolland Digre, Daniel Digre (Luz Paz), Carrie Murphy (Chad), grandchildren Johanna and Gita Varner, Peder and Neal Digre, Amy Stepan (D.), Ann Aho (Jeremy), Cali Digre, Jordan and Joshua Murphy, and great-grandchildren, Kaleb, Landon, Karlee Aho, and Sabriel Stepan. He is also survived by his many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred. Funeral service 12 Noon Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, with visitation one hour prior to the service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis. Interment: Lakewood Cemetery. Visitation 5-7 PM Thursday, Nov. 29 at: www.Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996 West 50th St. & Hwy 100.