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Claire Phillips Gordon


1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Claire Phillips Gordon Obituary
January 23, 1919 - June 3, 2016 Claire, the daughter of William and Reba Phillips, graduated from Los Angeles High School at age 16, having skipped two years. She attended UCLA, where she was a member of the Alumni Association, and received her degree from UC Berkeley in 1939. While secretary for Duke Ellington in NYC, she met her future husband, Irving Gordon, a songwriter for Ellington, and composer of the song "Unforgettable" for Nat King Cole. After a divorce, she married Kenneth Williams Fertig, known as Ken Williams, actor and radio/TV announcer. Following his death, she married William Joe Peel, who survives her, along with two sons from the first marriage, William P. Gordon, Ph.D., Richard Eliot Gordon, and a grandson, Jonathan Paul Gordon. She is the author of several books, including "Boy Meets Horn," "My Unforgettable Jazz Friends," "The Color of Music," and had just completed a historical novel about the role of Jews in Columbus' voyage to the New World. She died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 97 at her home in Arroyo Grande, California.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 7 to June 12, 2016
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