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James Wylie Gordon


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
James Wylie Gordon Obituary
Gordon, James Wylie



James Wylie Gordon, 82, of Topeka, passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at Brewster Place in Topeka, Kansas. He was born January 21, 1934, in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Charles Wylie Gordon and Hazel May Williams.

After graduating from Topeka High School in 1952, James attended the University of Chicago before enlisting in the Navy from 1954-1957. Following his enlistment, he attended the University of Kansas, earning first a B.S. in Physics in 1961, and then a Ph.D. in Physics in 1968.

While attending the University of Kansas he met Teresa Antonia Ross who became his wife on August 24, 1963. They resided in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where James was a research scientist at Kaman Sciences Corporations until 1974. While there, he worked on nuclear threat and countermeasures analyses for the Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident-1 missile systems, including weapon effects, fratricide, ABM threat definitions, and stockpile-to-target sequence documentation.

The family moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where James was employed by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from 1974 until 1998. Over the span of his 20 year career at LANL he worked as Staff Member, Group Leader and Laboratory Fellow. He earned several honors along the way, including two Distinguished Performance awards and the Department of Energy's prestigious E.O. Lawrence Memorial Award for his outstanding innovations in the design and development of nuclear weapons.

James and Teresa moved back to Kansas following his retirement from LANL. They later resided in Baldwin City, Kansas prior to moving to Topeka. James enjoyed woodworking, reading, and photography. He also had a keenly honed sense of humor, frequently making his family break out in giggles.

James was a member of St. Augustine's Anglican Church in Topeka.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Teresa on February 14, 2016. He is survived by his three children, Michael (Jane) Gordon, Katherine (Michael Gerhardt) Gordon, Susan (Ted) Lamberty; and three grandchildren, John and Thomas Gordon, sons of Michael and Jane; and Dorinda Doft, daughter of Katherine.

Memorial services will be held at St. Augustine's Anglican Church on Thursday, April 7, at 1 pm. Private inurnment will take place at a later date in Fall River Township Cemetery, Wilson Co., Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the St. Augustine's Anglican Church, 2140 SW Hodges Rd., Topeka, Kansas 66614 or to the , 3625 SW 29th St., Ste. 102, Topeka, KS 66614.

Penwell-Gabel Southeast Chapel is assisting the family. To leave the family a special message online, please visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 5, 2016
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