Deceased August 2, 2016
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We have just learned of the death of W. Richard “Dick” Gordon on Aug. 2, 2016.
He entered Amherst from Salem (Mass.) High School and Philips Andover Academy with the class of 1954. His major was geology. He became a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and participated in both football and outdoor track but left in 1953 to join the U.S. Army as a codebreaker, returning to graduate with the class of 1958. However, he continued to identify with our class and supported the Amherst Fund as such, although he was not a presence with us at homecomings or reunions.
Dick earned an M.S. in geology in 1961 from the University of Kansas and left a doctoral program at the University of Illinois for a career in marketing aviation fuel worldwide for Gulf Oil, Chevron and Cumberland Farms.
In 1967, Dick met and married a recent widow, Sjaane Molenveld Reef Bauer, from the Netherlands, and adopted her 2-year-old son, Dennis. They located in Mattapoisett, Mass., where Dick became a bird watcher, gardener, tennis player and more.
The Gordons subsequently moved to New Hampshire after his retirement, where they pursued outdoor activities that included kayaking and cross-country skiing, and then relocated to Florida in 2006. The Gordons summered in the Netherlands in his wife’s hometown, Hengelo, a place he considered his own second home and where, after suffering from Alzheimer’s in his last years, he died of pneumonia.
His survivors include Sjaane; son Dennis (Noreen); daughter Carla (Andrew), a journalist who supplied much of the material for this obituary; and granddaughters Nell, Tara and Amy Gordon and Meg and Kate Russell. A brother, Bruce Gordon, also survives.
We regret having lost touch with him over the years.
Hank Tulgan ’54