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GORDON H., 96.
Gordon H. Trachsel, age 96, died peacefully Sunday, December 2, 2012, in the compassionate care of the North Florida Rehab and Specialty Care Center staff.
Gordon was born on Staten Island, NY, June 24, 1916, to William H. and May Trachsel. His characteristic politeness was apparent at birth as he let his brother, Bill, be the older twin. A high school and college athlete, Gordon graduated from Syracuse University in 1937 and played semi-pro basketball in Boston until an Achilles tendon separation sidelined his career. As it turned out, his Army commission was activated in early 1940 (he had to hop twice on the same foot to pass the physical). He served 4 years in Northern Ireland as a quartermaster preparing for D-Day and was in France within days of the Invasion with his truck convoys. He was deactivated in 1945 after having achieved the rank of Major and earned a Bronze Star.
A blind date arranged by his twin brother at the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco, is where he met Captain Genevie (Gene) Kelly, RN, who he married in 1946. The new couple, and shortly thereafter their son, then embarked on an eighteen year adventure living in Latin America (Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia), and working for WR Grace (truck logistics to seaport management). Gordon returned to the US in 1965, and following his divorce from Gene, he settled in Denver. He married Alma Senekowitsch (subsequently divorced), worked for Barnett Construction (built Mile High stadium), and began the orange and blue life of a true Broncos fan. He was active in the Bronco Quarterback Club and for a while, it's President. His move to Gainesville twelve years ago was easy, as he did not have to change his orange and blue wardrobe.
Gordon lived independently for 95 years. In the last few years, he would not have accomplished this without some help. Special thanks of gratitude are extended to the residents of Milhopper Pines who look after each other, with a heartfelt nod to Barbara and Lari. In addition, the Donut Connection community should be applauded for their efforts to assist elders to stay engaged by picking Gordon up every day (after voluntarily giving up driving 5 years ago) at 7:15 AM sharp, so he could be at his "donut office meeting" by 7:30; thanks to Paul, Ben, Dave, Gil and all of the staff.
His twin brother, William and younger brother, Norman, predeceased Gordon. Gordon is survived by son, Richard (Sandi) of Gainesville; granddaughter, Stephanie Jacobson (LtCol Paul) of Hawaii; grandson, Che Thomas Trachsel (Sarah) of Jacksonville; numerous great grandchildren; great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and numerous friends, with special acknowledgement to Audrey Stehlin.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Alachua County Veteran's Memorial Fund, c/o Alachua County Veteran Services, 218 SE 24th Street, Gainesville, FL 32641. Memorial services will be at the family gravesite on Staten Island later.
Gordon's dry wit (hold the vermouth) and free spirit will be missed. Go Broncos!
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2012