Gordon W. Brown
TROY – Gordon Wayne Brown, 75, former principal of Turnpike Elementary School died peacefully on Thursday, April 4, 2013 in Community Hospice of Rensselaer County at St. Mary's Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Lorraine, New York on May 12, 1937, he was the son of the late Kellogg Brown and Helen Ansted Brown and loving husband of 48 years to Suzann Brown.
Raised and educated in Adams Center, New York he was a graduate of Adams Center High School in 1954. He served in the U.S. Air Force
from 1954 to 1958 doing active duty in Korea. He enrolled in SUNY Cortland and graduated in 1962. Gordie began his teaching career in Lansingburgh as a 6th grade teacher. During that time, he served as assistant football coach and helped bring the "Burgh" team to an undefeated season. In 1970, he was named principal of Whipple, Whipple Annex and Pleasantdale Schools. In 1973, the district released him from the principalship to coordinate the Bond Issue for two new elementary schools (Turnpike and Rensselaer Park). Gordon served as the first principal at Turnpike Elementary School. He loved his job, his students and his staff. His basic rule was "the kids always will come first". Gordie was appointed the New York State representative to the National Elementary Association of Principals from 1985 to 1990. While in this capacity, he was awarded the Laurel M. Pennock Award for 1981 to 1982. In 1985, he was awarded the T. Walsh McQuillian Memorial Award for the outstanding Elementary Principal of New York State. In 1986, he was awarded a special recognition award for achievements in education and service to Region 6 SAANYS. During the time Gordie's son, Geoffrey was involved in baseball, he served as little league manager and independent league coach. He was treasurer of the little league and during this time he set up a scholarship fund for a graduate of little league. Gordon became a charter member of the Lansingburgh Kiwanis in 1982, serving as president from 1987-88. During this time he was involved with formation of the Youth Soccer Program. In 1988, he was awarded the Dewitt Clinton Masonic Award for service to the community. He became very active in the American Red Cross and served as a volunteer in New York City immediately following 9/11.
Gordon became a member of the Lansingburgh Historical Society in 1982 and elected to the Board in 2004. He has served as membership chairman and historian. He obtained grants for the Melville House in Lansingburgh for repairs and has helped organize the "Gala" fundraisers. Gordie was named 112th Street Man of the Year 1995. The rehabilitation of Lansingburgh's two oldest cemeteries, the Lansingburgh Village Burying Ground and the Old Catholic Burying Ground is a project which Gordon Brown spearheaded working closely with David Marsh, 42 soldiers of the American Revolution, many veterans
of The War of 1812 and the U.S. Civil War were identified. The military service of the soldiers was researched and the historical society received grave stone markers to commemorate their service. Gordie's first love (next to his family) was high school track. He became a track official in 1963 and served as historian of the association. In the past few years, he taught classes to train and recruit new track officials. Recently, The Big 10 League Track coaches have named their most outstanding male/female award after Gordon. According to the Big Ten T/F Chairman "Gordie has for many many years shown a friendly, professional attitude toward our track/field teams and has become a favorite of our coaches and we wanted to honor him. After retirement, Gordie and his wife Suzann loved to travel. They made extensive trips to Alaska, Hawaii, the Carribean, South America and Europe. They loved cruising and meeting new passengers from every country. Gordon and Suzann spent many vacations with their dear friends the Millers from Tonawanda and Goetzmanns from Honeoye. Gordie was an avid reader and became special friends with the wonderful staff at the Waterford Public Library. In the final days, Gordie began the task of organizing a reunion in 2014 for his SUNY Cortland fraternity Delta Kappa. He contacted approximately 900 brothers and was often heard consoling other brothers with life threating diseases. Gordie was a very special person who loved every aspect of life. He adored his family and "coached" Loree and Geoffrey to challenge life's problems and to live to their highest potential. Gordon faced death as he lived his life with optimism and curiosity and humor. Beside his loving family he leaves his beloved cat "Tasha". They both enjoyed snuggling up to the fireplace on cold winter nights. Gordon served as the United Methodist Church Board Member and later became a member of The Cornerstone Community Church, Lansingburgh. He was an avid New York Giants fan and the Cardinal Baseball team
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Mary's Hospital Emergency Room, ICU, Community Hospice Unit, St. Peter's Hospital ambulatory staff, Dr. Jason Heckman and Dr. Ira Zackon for all their support and excellent care. Special thank you to McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, especially our friend Anthony Perniciaro.
Survivors in addition to his wife, Suzann of 48 years, include his daughter Loree Elizabeth Brown of Troy, his son Geoffrey William Brown (Melissa) of Pembroke Pines, Florida, two grandchildren Christie Blake Brown and Jensen Nicole Brown, great grandson Maddon McMurtry, a brother Ronald Brown (Patricia), a sister Betty Duquette, beloved sister in law Kit Fisher and several nieces and nephews.
Gordon was predeceased by his brother Gerald Brown.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at the Cornerstone Community Church of Lansingburgh, with Pastor E. Allen Siebold officiating.
Cremation will take place at Gardner Earl Crematorium.
Calling hours will be held at the Cornerstone Community Church, 570 Third Avenue, Lansingburgh from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday prior to the service.
Burial will take place at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers donations in Gordon's memory may be made to the Herman Melville House C/O Lansingburgh Historical Society, P.O. Box 219 Lansingburgh, NY 12182, or Rensselaer County ARC, c/o Hanns Meissner, 79 – 102nd St., Troy, NY 12182.
To light a candle and offer words of condolences please visit www.mcloughlinmason.com