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GORDON STEM

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GORDON STEM Obituary
STEM Gordon W. Stem died Wednesday, Oct. 16, after a long, valiant struggle with primary progressive aphasia and dementia that robbed him of his ability to speak, to read, to write. to reason and to enjoy life's pleasures. He was born Aug. 24, 1932, in Highland Park, Ill. He grew up in Miami and Albany, Ga., where he graduated from Albany High School. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and worked for newspapers in Albany and Macon, Ga., before coming to Jacksonville in 1964 to work for the Jacksonville Journal and then the Times-Union. He worked in many capacities at the paper including copy editor, Saturday editor and news editor and retired in 1998 after 34 years in a profession he loved. Most would describe Gordon as a great guy with a kind heart and a wonderful gift of gab. He was easy going and never met a stranger. He loved good food, liked to dance, to read and was always game for anything his wife and family wanted to do. He was a talented golfer and for years, once a week, he and some co-workers played golf at the Par 3 on Beach Boulevard in what they lovingly called the OMO (Old Milwaukee Open). He loved sports, especially football and baseball and had worked as a sports writer very early in his career. In the fall, he'd cheer on the Gators, except when they played Georgia, since he was naturally a devoted Bulldog fan. During baseball season, he was in two rotisserie baseball leagues, and for many years he and a group of friends traveled to spring training games in what they called The Old Men in Underwear Tour. He is survived by his wife, Linda Hanks; daughter Ashley Powell of Memphis; daughter Kathy Stem of Covington, Ky.; son Tom Stem of Memphis; sister Annelle Griffin of St. Augustine; grandson Christopher Nanney of Nashville; stepson J.R. Hanks (Mary) of Atlanta; stepdaughter Lee Hanks of Jacksonville; stepgrandchildren Cole and Anna Carr Hanks of Atlanta; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Howard and Ann Kelley; and nieces and nephews: Shannon and George Elian, Adam Kelley, Tony Elian, Laney Robinson (Gerald) and family, Billy Griffin (Jennifer) and family and Rick Griffin and family. Also left to mourn is Gordon's favorite cat, Molly, who slept on his bed the night he died. Visitation will be held from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Monday, October 21, 2013 in Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 in Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home with The Rev. Stephen Britt as Officiant. The family wishes to thank Community Hospice of Northeast Florida for the care and compassion Gordon received during the last two months of his life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Hospice. Words of comfort can be left at www.hardage-giddenshendricksave.com Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home 4115 Hendricks Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32207. (904) 346-3808. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com


Published in the Florida Times-Union on Oct. 20, 2013
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