Reverend Donald Eugene Gordon was born on August 25, 1928 in Junction City, Ohio to Carl H. & Helen Gordon. This servant of God, preacher, husband, brother, uncle, father, grandpa, great grandpa, friend, mentor, confidant and passionate fly fisherman succumbed to the physical devastation of multiple myeloma in the early morning of November 5, 2022 with Beth and Deborah by his bedside. Following high school, Don joined the Navy and told enthralling stories of being out at sea in WWII. With help from the GI Bill, Don earned a BA in History & Psychology from Houghton College, Houghton, NY. A lifelong learner, he received his Bachelor of Theology as well as a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Don was ordained into the Presbyterian Church, USA in 1961. His ministry spanned many wonderful congregations across the country. Don developed a passion for outdoor Christian education, growing children & adult camping programs in Michigan at Camp Henry, Camp Skyline as well as Buck Creek Camp in Washington State. He loved to pick through the WSJ, mark up his well-loved copy of “A Diary of Private Prayer” by John Baillie and laze through the Sunday NYT. Don was an outdoorsman. He and Beth loved to canoe and hike and take cross-country train trips. Don enjoyed cooking dinner for Beth; she baked him chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles. More than 40 years ago, Don and his fishing buddies Freddy Bartel & Jack Stewart established an annual fall fly fishing pilgrimage to the Two Hearted River in the UP of MI. This grew to include his son, son-in-law, grandsons and other special guys fortunate enough to be included. Favorite fishing holes were named, stories were told & retold, fish were caught (some years) but always memories were made that will live on in the hearts of the guys forever.
Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Joan and their son Steve as well as his parents, three brothers and a sister. Over the past few weeks the family has been blessed by the amazing caregivers of Faith Hospice.
Don is survived by his wife of 54 years, Beth; sisters Norma Stechow and Ginny Tracey; daughter Deborah and her husband Mike Gildea; son Daniel Gordon; daughter Melissa and her husband Doug Donselar; brothers and sisters-in law Ray & Kristin Abraham and Nick & Ritchie Boersma and their kids. Don will be greatly missed by those mentioned including many nieces and nephews as well as his beloved grandchildren Briana Summers, Erin and her husband Jeremy Loether, Devon and her husband Mike Collins, Adrianne Gordon and her husband Floyd Burkhead, Ayna Gordon and her partner Christian Gem, Cali Gordon and her partner Alan Cropsey, Emma Gordon, Brandon Donselar and his partner Leah Potter, Jordan Donselar and his fiancé Katey Deboer, Nathan Donselar and his wife Maggie, Alyson Donselar and her fiancé Alex Christiansen. Don’s great grandchildren include Ben and Grace Loether, Rowan Donselar, Carson Mitchell, Eric & Owen Balmer, Carter Gordon, Brooklynn, Xander & Maverick LaVeck and Walker Donselar, Rige Cropsey, Aubrey & Landon as well as Carter, Chase & Arabella Donselar and Penelope Dawood and countless friends and extended family.
The Celebration of Don’s of Life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 47 Jefferson Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids at 2pm, Thursday November 10th with a reception to follow.
Don requested those wishing to donate in his memory do so: Camp Henry 5575 S. Gordon Avenue, Newaygo, MI 49337 noting “Gordon Memorial Chapel Fund” or camphenry.org/donate.
5575 Gordon Ave., Newaygo MI 49337