May 9, 1951 - July 25, 2019
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 A lifetime resident of the Chelan Valley, John Clayton Gordon was born on May 9th, 1951 to Kenneth Woodrow “Doc” Gordon and Bertha Lillian “Peg” Fellows Gordon. Growing up around Lake Chelan, he spent much time hunting, fishing, camping and boating with his brother Dick, (George Richard Gordon) and their parents, Doc and Peg. Having many relatives on each branch of the family tree – the Gordon clan as well as the Fellows family - there was never a shortage of cousins and uncles to share in the camaraderie of family events, reunions and general mischief. As Peg Gordon and Esther Courtney were sisters, John and Dick made many trips uplake with their folks to see the Courtney boys in the Stehekin Valley and go camping at Weaver Point. It has always remained a favorite place and time in his life and heart. The Boy Scouts were also a major part of his young life and he was always grateful for Mr. Don Morse whose knowledge of nature and love for the boys, was able to train them in outdoor life skills and good moral habits. The Scout Camp at Lake Bonaparte was a highlight of the scouting days and John easily swam the required mile and learned to right a canoe, too. John graduated from Chelan High School in 1969 and was active in band and FFA and though he didn't continue to play an instrument regularly, he thoroughly enjoyed marching bands and Sousa marches...He kept a bugle at home on the shelf and would give us a rendition of Reveille now and then for fun just to “stir things up”. From high school, he ventured to Columbia Basin College to earn a degree in welding and develop the skills that would be his trademark throughout life. John went to work at the Lake Chelan Boat Company in 1972. The steel hulled Lady of the Lake boat was in the process of being designed and constructed. With John's ability to weld, Larry Cozart and Charles Schwader hired him to complete the majority of the task of plating the hull, seaming, and welding the girders and beams together. In October of 1974, the hull of the boat was launched and as a testimony to the craftsmanship of all involved, it didn't leak a drop! Working with Larry and Chuck and the Boat Company crew was a special time in his life. Whether it was welding or time spent piloting the barge or the passenger boat, he enjoyed it immensely and ended up earning his Master Pilot's License. For his family, seeing the Lady II in service daily on Lake Chelan is the best testimony of his ability to weld and we are proud of him! He never met a piece of large, geared equipment that he didn't like or couldn't drive. When a near neighbor to their family home, Dan Hallock, taught him to drive straddle truck, that marked the beginning of John's time on the road hauling everything from apples to wheat, hay and cattle. Getting his CDL and working for Mumma Trucking in Brewster introduced him to many friends and varied aspects of driving. From the precarious snowy passes in winter, to steep and primitive back roads to access hay or apple crops, he persevered. It was amazing to watch him place a truck and trailer precisely into a small space in a busy downtown Seattle port and do it calmly! A Mack Truck bulldog sits on his whatnot shelf at home - standing as a memento to his wonderful days on the road and to his favorite truck in the fleet. In 1978, while John was visiting his cousin Jim in Stehekin, he met Beth. After a first date to watch “Superman”, sharing some trucking miles in the Mack truck and spending time with the parents and families, just over a year later on March 29th, 1980 they were married at Ohme Gardens. John would always be able to remember that year because Mt. St. Helens erupted just a few months later.. With orchard equipment, waterlines, housing construction needs and general metal fix it jobs needing to be done in the Chelan area, he opened John Gordon Welding and Repair in 1980 and has continued to work in the shop until now. Many places in town bear evidence of his handiwork from hand railings and fences, to trailer hitches and custom post and beam brackets. For fun, he made little dinosaurs and robots for the grandkids fashioned from his imaginative and humorous love of “sci fi”. The Lord blessed John and Beth with two wonderful children: Evelynne Anne in 1986 and Clayton Zane in 1989. He was a good dad, very loving and attentive and with a sense of humor and his storytelling ability, brought laughter into many of their growing up years along with passing along some of his skills and talents.... He was the quintessential grandpa, too. With Evelynne and her husband, Jeremiah's five boys, John made it a point to take one of them out at a time for a treat during the week. They loved getting to go get a soft ice cream cone! Of course, he'd have to get one, too! The older boys got to share some time in Grandpa's shop, too, learning some basics of welding and repair. He was a very strong man as well. In an emergency situation, he never panicked, but purposefully did what was needed. It made him a valuable member of the local volunteer fire department and of the Police Reserves for many years. (We might add that he was NOT calm if the TV remote went missing..) John also served as a Fire Commissioner for District 7 where his knowledge of equipment, firefighting ability, frugality and common sense were an asset to the District. John never liked crowds, but he really enjoyed the small group coffee times in the mornings at several of the local restaurants where he met up with friends new and old to discuss the issues of the day. There was no political correctness to stem the flow of good conversation and he relished the exchange of ideas, but was a staunch defender of the Constitution and our Judeo-Christian heritage. He was a lifelong member of the NRA and very active in writing letters and supporting candidates who honor the foundation of the United States of America. Within the past two years, John and Beth were able to move to their property in the Navarre Coulee. As his Dad's family had homesteaded and built up a lumber mill on the northern end of the Coulee, it felt like home to be back in the area. John looked forward to the field work of limbing, trimming, mowing and using his backhoe to make improvements and repairs to the property. On the day that he suffered a major heart attack, he had been out in the field mending fences and filling in a water line trench. As the sky grew gray and thunder started to rumble, he was convinced to climb down off the backhoe and come inside the house.. a few moments later he collapsed. The heroic efforts of our local EMS crews and the skilled staff at Central Washington Hospital worked tirelessly to give him the best care, but the Lord called John home. He had a strong faith in the Lord and in His promise of resurrection in Jesus Christ our Lord. John is truly in the presence of God and we are comforted in that knowledge, yet we miss him dearly!!! John is survived by his wife, Beth (Poltz) Gordon and children: Evelynne (Jeremiah) Paulston and Clayton Gordon of the Chelan area; plus five grandsons: Jeremiah, Jr., Titus, Gideon, Silas and baby Ezra. John is also survived by his brother George “Dick” (Taina) Gordon of Chelan and four nephews: Kenneth, Jim, Mikko, Will and a niece: Abigail - as well as three uncles: Gorden Fellows, Ernest Fellows and Alvin Fellows. He was preceded in death by his parents: Kenneth Woodrow “Doc” Gordon and Bertha Lillian “Peg” (Fellows) Gordon. A Memorial Service will be held for John C. Gordon at 11:00am on Saturday, August 10th, 2019 at North Shore Bible Church, 123 Wapato Point Parkway in Manson, WA. Pastor Gordon Hyde will officiate. Funeral arrangements are being made by the Precht- Rose Chapel of Chelan. Please leave any thoughts and memories for the family at www.prechtrose.com. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the National Rifle Association Foundation... 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 A lifetime resident of the Chelan Valley, John Clayton Gordon was born on May 9th, 1951 to Kenneth Woodrow “Doc”... View Obituary & Service Information
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