Donald Oris Gordon, 78, of Nottawa, passed away Sunday, June 9, 2013 at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
Don was born on March 21, 1935 in Muskegon to Stanley and Fern (Benedict) Gordon. Early in life found him moving to different states with his mother and step-father, James Mintz, who was serving in the Navy. Eventually the family settled in Sturgis where he graduated from high school in 1953. In 1955 he married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Fennell. Five sons were born from this union. Peggy passed away on April 1, 1970. He then married Barbara Huff of rural LaGrange, Ind. and gained a daughter from this marriage.
Often referred to as the “The Gordon Bunch” the family had a colorful life. They worked and played hard together. There was never a dull moment. Don was a modern western square dance caller and taught hundreds of people how to dance over a 30-year period. He was employed at Citizen’s Lumber, Paramount Furniture and W.F. Wells and Sons before purchasing the Sand Lake Party Store in 1983. Don was the originator of the BIG ICE CREAM CONE, putting Nottawa on the map for ice cream lovers from far and wide.
At the same time, with help from their family, the Gordons constructed and operated Sand Lake Concessions which served up food for local auctions and antique shows. If this was not enough they became intrigued with Percheron Draft Horses. Many wonderful friends and memories evolved from the Whispering Oaks Carriage Company owned and operated with his son and a lot of help from all the family. Most recently Don and his wife had been enjoying the antique business and operated the Second Hand Rose Shoppe at their home in Nottawa. Don was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Colon.
Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Barbara; sons, Randy (Shaunda), Scott (Cindy) and Rusty all of Sturgis, Tim of Nottawa, Dana of Iowa; daughter, Monica (Terry) Crocker of Ovid; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren. Also brother and sisters-in-law, Jon and Gail Huff of Fort Wayne, Ind. and Phyllis Fennell of Sturgis; aunt, Tony Becker; cousin, Jim (Barbara) Smith of Muskegon; several nieces and nephews and countless extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Peggy; mother; father; step-father; brother; grandson, Brandon Gordon.
Memorial services will be held at the Colon St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 with Pastor David Grimm officiating. Visitations prior to the service will be from 1-2 p.m. The family wishes to invite all family and friends to continuing sharing great memories with them in the fellowship hall immediately following the service. Memorials may be directed to the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church kitchen fund or Thurston Woods Village in memory of Don. Envelopes will be available at the church or the Schipper Funeral Home LTD. in Colon.