MONTPELIER -- Jay H. Gordon, 77, died in a fire at his home in Montpelier with his wife, Joan, on Dec. 4, 2007.
He was born in Bellows Falls on Oct. 10, 1930, son of Harry and Annie (Mandell) Gordon. He attended Dean Academy in Franklin, Mass., and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1953.
He received his master's degree from New York University in 1959. He served as first lieutenant in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
He married Joan Caroline Plumpton in Massachusetts in 1964.
The couple moved to Montpelier and he served as Auditor of Accounts for the state of Vermont from 1964 to 1968 during the administration of Gov. Philip Hoff.
Mr. Gordon served as an advisor to several Vermont governors. He was active, well-known and respected in the state's Democratic Party circles. He served on many civic boards including president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and it's chairman of the board, president of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants, member of the board of trustees for the Vermont State Colleges, director of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation, director of Vermont Green-Up, commissioner on the Vermont State Racing Commission, President's Advisory Board of the BankNorth Group, and an associate board member for The Howard Bank.
He was also a former member of the Elks, Rotary and the Masons. He was a member of the Mutuo Society in Barre and of Beth Jacob Synagogue.
He was an auditor for Peat, Marwick Mitchell and Co. while earning his master's degree in New York City. He was a partner with Bliss, Lawlor and Co. 1959 to 1965.
Mr. Gordon served as a partner with Jay H. Gordon from 1970 until 1987. In 1987, he joined Smith, Batchelder and Rugg. In 1990, he became a professor of accounting at Norwich University until his retirement in 2001.
He was a man of great humor, exacting detail and superior organizational skills. He sped so quickly through accounting course material that Norwich cadets dubbed him “Flash” Gordon. His sense of humor was known to all and he was often giving others a kindly ribbing, particularly lawyers.
He believed in always doing right and treating people with respect and acting humbly. As he aged he kept up with the times, often surfing the net for information about his other activities such as chess and gardening.
He was an avid reader, particularly of presidential bbiographies, and a New England Patriots fan. He began studying Hebrew in his 70s and would read Hebrew to his sons over the phone. He was a tireless golfer in his earlier years and loved playing piano, especially for the cat, Wesley.
He balanced a busy work and social life with a committed home life. He was always home for dinner and loved taking his family on trips and vacations. He was well known and could barely walk a few feet without someone stopping him, wanting to chat. So many knew him that at times he found it difficult to remember their names. He was friends with people from many circles and never thought a second about striking up a friendly conversation with a stranger. Who often became a friend soon after. Despite many challenges in his career he kept moving on, finding a new adventure with each change. He often quoted Winston Churchill's “Never Surrender.”
He took that advice to heart and passed that along to his family and sons who will remember his strength and will. He will be missed greatly for his humor, compassion and unyielding love for Vermont and his family.
He is survived by his sons, Harry E. Gordon of Roxbury Crossing, Mass., and David M. Gordon of Stowe; and his cousins Louis Mandell of Martinsville, N.J., Milton “Middy” Mandell and Sylvia Parnow of Edgewood, Md., and Ruth Treffinger of Palms River, N.J.
A combined funeral service for Mr. and Mrs. Gordon will take place Wednesday at 1 p.m. in White Chapel at Norwich University. Respects may be paid to the couple an hour before the service. Rabbi Shana Margolin will officiate. A reception will follow the service. Interment will take place in the Norwich University Cemetery in the spring.
Contributions may be made in the couple's memory to The Vermont Society of Public Accountants' Educational Foundation/Jay Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund 100 State St., Ste. 500, Montpelier, VT 05602, to Norwich University, In Memoriam, Jay and Joan Gordon, 158 Harmon Dr., Northfield, VT 05663 or to Beth Jacob Synagogue, P.O. Box 1133, Montpelier, VT 05601.
Arrangements are by BOUCHER AND PRITCHARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS in Burlington.u
Published by Brattleboro Reformer on Dec. 11, 2007.