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Kendall R. Gordon Sr.

Sep 25, 1934 - Feb 12, 2018

Kendall's Story

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Brewer - Longtime Brewer resident Kendall Roy Gordon Sr., 83, gained his angel wings on Feb. 12, 2018, at his daughter's home in Wasilla, AK. He left the earth peacefully, with dignity and his loved ones by his side. Though we will miss him immeasurably, he was a born again Christian, so is now with the Lord Jesus in Heaven. Kendall loved life and put up the strongest fight ever - he was a "Tough Downeaster," to the end. He was born Sept. 25, 1934, in West Sullivan, Maine, the son of Oscar and Lila (Rich) Gordon.
Kendall grew up there, greatly enjoying his coastal and Scottish heritage-always "A Highlander!" He learned to hunt, fish, worm and lobster, from his father, and had pride in his mothers' family history of boat building. Kendall attended Sumner Memorial High school, where he was an exceptional athlete, especially excelling at basketball, which he would continue to play into his 40s. Being blessed with a high intellect, he graduated as class valedictorian in 1952. Following graduation, Kendall dug worms and helped with the family lobster pot, under the "singing bridge," enabling him to briefly attend the University of Maine at Orono in Engineering before enlisting in the USAF in 1954. He received his training at the U.S. Army Engineer School, 3270th Technical Training School in refrigeration and air conditioning at Ft. Belvoir, Va., enjoying D.C. historical sites, social life, and dancing-to the maximum. Kendall again, achieved the highest grade in his class and he was proud of his time there where he gained high praise from the faculty and was asked to become an instructor. This position required he take "speech" training, in order to remove his thick "Downeast" accent - though did provide him with even further stunning commendations. Based on his outstanding performance he was asked to complete training in communications in order to go to Turkey in a security role, which required sworn silence for 25 years! He was stationed atop a mountain on the Russian border doing "communications work" for 14 months during the Korean War. Kendall described numerous times, how they were ordered to grow their hair and beards, dress in local garb (no uniforms) and ingratiate themselves with the locals. He never tired of telling his many stories to anyone who asked. By far, his proudest moment there was when his outfit "broke" the Russian code, benefitting the U.S. military efforts. He also made long lasting memories visiting numerous countries and cultures while he was in the service and was forever grateful for that. Kendall declined an invitation for a commission in the USAF after returning stateside and instead used the GI Bill to attend Husson College in Bangor earning a B.S. in business administration in 1962. At that time, he accepted a position again, with the USAF in a "secret" Intelligence program, unfortunately, this opportunity ended when Pres. JFK was assassinated. Kendall then worked in Massachusetts for a short time and was also previously self-employed in refrigeration repair. He began working for Aetna Life and Casualty as a claims adjuster in 1963.
Kendall met his future wife, Pat, at Flanders Pond in Sullivan and was married on Jan. 25, 1964. They lived in Ellsworth and built a home on Parcher St., where he became a member of the Lions Club and Masonic Lodge. The couple had three children and had many special friends there becoming lifelong friends with some. A lot of time was spent during those years returning to Flanders Pond visiting with friends, caring for the beach, swimming, boating and water skiing, which Kendall loved to do almost as much as playing horseshoes on the beach. Kendall was soon promoted to the manager of the Waterville, ME, claims office in 1970 and relocated to a home on a point on Long Pond in Belgrade Lakes. He continued to enjoy swimming, hunting, fishing and then snowmobiling and CAMPING ... with his wife, children and friends. Kendall moved to Silk St. in Brewer in 1972 to work in the company's Bangor office and be closer to his ailing father. Perpetually the congenial and social one, he made many friends on Silk St. Here, he played mens league basketball and was an assistant Little League coach for both of his son's baseball teams. Sadly, Kendall developed a debilitating condition and retired in 1977. He then began wintering in Jensen Beach, Florida, through the 80s. He so loved the sun and beach and made quite a good "beach bum," during this period. Kendall succumbed to ever more serious medical maladies over the 90's and was no longer able to be active in any of his beloved physical activities. He, never-the-less, continued to be an avid reader, listen to his "old" country music, sing, dance, take his Labs to the park and river each day, and be the first person in and out of the ocean each summer.
Kendall adored his wife of 54 years, children and grandchildren immensely and was proud as he could be of all of them-which he frequently voiced. The highlight of his life was visiting his daughter and family in Alaska for the first time in 2004, and flying around and up to the summit of Mt. McKinley, which truly considered it a glorious event. He would return to visit Alaska over the years enjoying a little King Salmon fishing, many bonfires and the beautiful scenery. He ultimately moved to his daughter's home in Wasilla, Alaska, along with his wife, in the summer of 2015 due to deteriorating health. Kendall enjoyed his enclosed deck, close family, friends and the wonderful neighbors, thoroughly. He would read his Boston Herald, smoke his pipe, watch children and dogs play, and his beloved Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots in his "man cave." Though the last two years of his life were fraught with multiple surgeries and pain, the glint in his eyes and quick award winning smile never faltered. Kendall continued to sing and dance from his wheelchair until the last days. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and friend to so many. Special appreciation and thanks to Sam Cameron, Kathy Clark and other individuals, who assisted in caring for Dad, allowing him to remain at home with us for so long. We are grateful and honored.
Surviving in addition to his wife of Brewer and Alaska are two children, Terri Schrader of Wasilla, AK, and Kevin Gordon and his wife, Emily, of Santa Clara, CA; grandchildren, Miranda, Caleb, Jacob, and Sarah; his brother, Gerald Gordon of Sullivan and Pennsylvania; and sister, Janice Hoskings of Sullivan and Florida; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Benji. Kendall was predeceased by his parents; brother, Randall Gordon; and a son, Kendall Gordon Jr.; along with some of his best life-long friends.
Services will be held later in the spring at a time to be announced by Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 69 State St., Brewer. Messages and memories may be shared with his family at kileyandfoley.com.
Published on  March 10, 2018
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