James Gordon Jalet

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Jalet, James Gordon WEST HARWICH, Mass. James Gordon Jalet, 90, known to his friends as Gordon, died on August 30, 2013 of heart failure at his summer home in West Harwich. Originally from Albany, he spent winters in Naples, Fla. from 1992 until 2011, when he and his wife moved to Brooklyn with their daughter Kim and her family. Gordon, whose childhood nickname was "Jeep," from the Popeye comic strip, started working as an usher at the local movie theater at the age of 14. He graduated high school at Christian Brothers Academy in 1940 and began working with the Delaware and Hudson Company. He served during World War II and saw combat with the amphibious forces in the Aleutian Islands and at the battle of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. After his marriage to Katherine Hooghkerk in 1941, the couple moved to Gulfport, Mich., where Gordon began training as an aviation cadet. The war ended before he could complete his training and he was discharged from the army in 1945. Upon returning home, he furthered his education at Siena College, the College of Saint Rose and SUNY Albany, eventually earning his master's degree and completing all of the course work for his Ph.D. While going to school he became manager of a Howard Johnson restaurant in Albany, which over the next 60 years caused much grief to many, many waiters and waitresses all over the world and much embarrassment to his friends and family who had to watch him yell if his coffee was not hot enough, or the cup wasn't full enough, or if the soup didn't have enough stuff in it. He began working for the City of Albany and eventually decided to become an Albany Grammar School teacher. In 1965, he was promoted to assistant principal and one year later to principal of School 19 where for 20 years he was affectionately known as "Gordon The Warden" by students, teachers and staff. Upon his retirement in 1986, Gordon, a gregarious man who loved golf, spending time with friends, eating at restaurants, attending happy hours and traveling the world, enjoyed all of those things and much more. He is survived by Katherine Hooghkerk, his wife of 69 years and three children, James, Katherine and Kim as well as daughters-in-law, Luann and Connie Jalet and sons-in-law, Jack Agansky and Vito LaBella. He also has six grandchildren, Jennifer Jalet Paseka (and her husband Tim), Jason Agansky (and his significant other Heather Garner), Kelly Agansky Cooper (and her husband Curt), as well as Evan, Dylan and Morgan LaBella and one great-grandson, Jack Paseka. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Morris, O'Connor & Blute Funeral Home, 678 Main St., Harwich Center, Mass. Burial will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery, down the road from his summer home, where he walked his dogs, met new people, and talked to his friends and family, who will for many summers to come, look in his direction and continue to toast his life, as they walk or drive past, remembering him and enjoying another beautiful summer.

Funeral Home
Morris, O'Connor & Blute - Harwich
678 Main Street
Harwich, MA 02645
(508) 432-6696
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Published in Albany Times Union on Sept. 1, 2013
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