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Gordon Mansfield

Gordon H. Mansfield

VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICIAL ST. MICHAELS, MD Gordon H. Mansfield, 71, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2004 to 2008 and Assistant Secretary of Congressional and Legislative Affairs from 2001 to 2004, died of aortic disease at the Washington DC VA Medical Center on January 29, 2013. Formerly of Alexandria, Va., he lived in St. Michaels, Md., and Naples, Fla.

Prior to joining VA, he served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993 and Executive Director of Paralyzed Veterans of America from 1993 to 2000.

Mr. Mansfield enlisted in the Army in 1964 and commissioned at Fort Benning; he served two tours of duty in Vietnam. While serving as company commander with the 101st Airborne Division during his second tour, he was wounded in the 1968 Tet Offensive, resulting in a spinal cord injury. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroic actions while his unit was under fire. His combat decorations include the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Presidential Unity Citation. Mr. Mansfield was medically retired at the grade of Captain.

His record of awards includes Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2008, the Robert Dole Service to Our Nation Award in 2008, DAV Disabled Veteran of the Year Award in 2006. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Villanova University Alumni Medal.

Most recently, Mr. Mansfield served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled for Life Memorial. His service and advocacy for veterans is exemplified by the Soldier On housing communities for formerly homeless veterans that are named in his honor. Beyond being an advocate for the Nation's veterans, Mr. Mansfield was a champion for the rights and opportunities for all people with disabilities. During his career, he led the fight for passage of the "Air Carrier Access Act" and helped draft the legislation that became the "Americans with Disabilities Act."

Gordon Hall Mansfield was born in Pittsfield, MA. He received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and law degree from the University of Miami.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Linda K.C. Mansfield; his two sons, Gordon of Leesburg, Va., and Leon of Ashburn, Va.; four siblings and four grandchildren. His previous marriage to Suzanne P. Mansfield ended in divorce.

FUNERAL NOTICE: The wake will be at Everly-Wheatly at 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, Va., on Monday, February 11, 2013, from 4 to 8 p.m. with Mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 11 a.m.

Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

Contributions in Mr. Mansfield's honor may be made to the Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Project or Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 5, 2013
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