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GORDON BRUCE GREER


1932 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
GORDON BRUCE GREER Obituary
GREER, Gordon Bruce Of Belmont, Massachusetts, former Managing Partner of Bingham Dana and Gould, author of six books and a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, died on Tuesday November 5 at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was 81 and a retired Air Force officer. Gordon was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, on February 17th, 1932. He was an Eagle Scout, and attended Phillips Exeter Academy. After Exeter, he attended Harvard and was a lifelong football fan, holding season tickets for more than 50 years. Tom Lehrer was his freshman faculty advisor. He enjoyed the experience of math set to music. He always maintained he was educated at Exeter and attended Harvard and graduated from Harvard Law School. Gordon attempted to join Naval ROTC, but was too tall, and became a member of the first Air Force ROTC class at Harvard in 1949, the first non-draft year. The class was tiny until June of 1950, when Korea became unpleasant. He graduated cum laude in 1953 and was assigned to Fighters, flying F-94s and F-89s, keeping the Russians out of Southern California successfully for three years. While flying he was a finalist in the international Rocket competition, but had to withdraw to be the final student to start in Harvard Law School class of 1959, many weeks late. At the Law School he was a student target of Professor James Casner, the man after whom Professor Kingsfield of The Paper Chase was modeled. Gordon was a true master of the repartee, having been born with the quickest of wits, but his skills for the bon mot were surely honed while studying law. He was selected for the Harvard Law Review, where he was the tallest and most conservative, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the shortest and most liberal; they remained friends. He flew fighters out of Logan as a reservist (again keeping the Russians out), and was delighted as a reserve 1st Lt to be selected to replace John F Kennedy on the Harvard ROTC Visiting Committee when Senator Kennedy was elected Commander in Chief (he said they needed an Air Force representative, and there was a limited pool). After leaving Harvard Law, he practiced briefly in Wisconsin, and returned to Boston to join Bingham, Dana and Gould in 1961. A lifelong Red Sox fan, he was one who represented the Yawkey family for Legal work while at Bingham Dana and Gould. In the mid 1970s, he rose to be Managing Partner of the firm. He was a specialist in Mutual Funds, Financial and Banking law staying with Bingham until retiring at 70 in 2002. During his career, he served many boards, including Fidelity, Strong Funds, Thermo Electron, Stowe-Woodward, and Colonial. He told many stories of board members such as Willie Davis, Peter Drucker, Edward Teller, and Peter Lynch. When Bingham planned a London office, he was delighted to be responsible for it, and traveling to England and Scotland was one of the joys of his working career. After retiring, he returned to writing, completing six books ranging for World War II history to a history of Technology in the first decade of the Twentieth Century. His style resembled that of Simon Winchester and Samuel E Morison, with a touch of Tom Lehrer. On his final weekend, the highlight of his day was watching the Red Sox Duck parade from the window of his hospital room, and seeing them celebrate their third victory of the decade while hearing Harvard had won as well on Saturday. He is survived by his wife of 54 years Nancy Hannaford and his children, Gordon Bruce Greer Jr of St Louis, Missouri and Alison Clark Greer Kennedy of York, Pennsylvania and five grandchildren, Gordon Bruce Greer III, Fletcher W Greer, Genevieve H Greer, Henry R. Kennedy and Iain C. Kennedy. A memorial service will be 1030 Saturday, December 7th at the Hamilton Chapel at the Belmont Hill School, 350 Prospect St., Belmont, Massachusetts 02478. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his memory to the Greer Family Scholarship Fund C/O Phillips Exeter Academy Attn: Gifts Recording, 20 Main Street, Exeter, New Hampshire 03833-2460, Home for Little Wonders, Attn: Development Dept., 271 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02115; or the HLS Alumni Center, 1563 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. On line guest book at www.brownandhickey.com.
Published in The Boston Globe from Nov. 7 to Nov. 10, 2013
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