Gordon K. Stephens
FUNERAL HOME
Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory (43rd St. Chapel) - Bradenton
604 43rd Street West
Bradenton, FL
Gordon K. Stephens

Gordon K. Stephens of Bradenton, Florida and Manitowoc, Wisconsin passed away on Monday, January 27, 2020. At age 87, colon cancer and its ensuing complications took him from his beloved wife of 66 years, B. Joan Stephens (Wilson). His life ended with yet another great story: A Caribbean cruise, Mexican hospital, air ambulance, and a valiant struggle at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. At the moment he passed, he was surrounded by his devoted wife, four sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and numerous grandchildren.

Gordon's love of Michigan's Upper Peninsula was epic. Torn from the U.P. as a young teen due to the economic pressures of WWII, he was educated at the Henry Ford Trade School in Detroit as a tool and die maker. His passion for the U.P. and love of its people drove many of life's decisions. Hunting, fishing, and exploring the north-woods obsessed him, and in 1979, at age 47, he left a stable career to start a plastic injection molding company. On a handshake with the mayor, the site in Ironwood, Michigan was chosen. The business thrived and a second division in Two Rivers, Wisconsin was founded in 1987. Through the family's hard work and the company's dedicated workforce, the business eventually employed over 200 employees. Gordon retired in 1999, his sons took over, and the company was sold to CTB, a division of Berkshire-Hathaway in 2010.

Even more than his love of the Northwoods, Gordon's love of his family was his guiding light. He raised four sons, Mark, Gregg, Rob, and Scott. He found even more love through his daughters-in-law, Denise, Deena, Joanna, and Vonia. Gordon and Joan's grandchildren, (Rachel, Evan, William, Natalie, Harrison, Amanda, Kyle, Ewelina, Martin, Michelle, Spenser and Stuart) gave him inexpressible joy. He experienced each stage of their growth and was enormously proud of their achievements and who they have become. If he had one regret, it would be not being able to experience the same with his five great grandchildren (and those yet to come!). His extended family was just as close to his heart - he is survived by his brother, Elvin, a sister-in-law, Jackie, as well as his many nieces and nephews that will dearly miss their Uncle Gordon.

Living every minute of his life to its fullest, Gordon taught us what is possible. His formal education consisted of "just" a high school diploma. He embraced lifelong learning. He was extremely well read and loved history and travel. In his fifties, he became a private pilot and eventually earned his IFR qualification. At age 61, he rode his bicycle coast-to-coast in 43 days from California to Georgia. He attempted the northern route a few years later but went over the handlebars in Coeur d'Alene Idaho in a rainstorm and broke his collarbone. Armed with his golf clubs he flew his Cessna 182, N91705, from Sarasota to King Salmon, Alaska and later to Canada's Prince Edward Island. Later, he quested to break 100 in golf, but the camaraderie of the course was most important.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent and Amanda, his sister Dorothy, and his brother Richard.

A memorial service is planned for 3:00 PM on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Brown & Sons Funeral Home in Bradenton, Florida. Immediately thereafter the family with host a get together at the Perico Bay Clubhouse. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Association, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St Jude's or the Alzheimer's Foundation.



Published by Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2020.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Feb
1
Memorial Gathering
Perico Bay Clubhouse
IL
Feb
1
Memorial service
3:00p.m.
Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory (43rd St. Chapel) - Bradenton
604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL
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19 Entries
Dennis loved your dad like his own. It was always wonderful to see him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Marianne
Marianne Brunelle
February 4, 2020
Mark and Denise,
You have our sympathies on the passing of your father Gordon. I only met Gordon once at a Roughrider game, but he truly had a life filled with accomplishments and service to his community. Take care.
Steve and Debbie Kimm
Steven Kimm
Friend
February 3, 2020
Deepest condolences, sorry we could not be there. We are thinking of your family and remembering the times we meet Gordon. So glad I was able to give him and your mom a tour of Competition. He was extremely proud of Spenser for carrying on his legacy.

Love Clay and Tonya
Clayton Stressman
Family
February 1, 2020
Dear Stephens family, Greg and I are deeply saddened by Gordon's passing. Our time knowing him was far too short but we have big memories of his smile, laughter, patience, wisdom & hugs. Our warm wishes and prayers are with all of you. Janet & Greg
Janet Gottsacker
Friend
February 1, 2020
So sorry to hear of Gordon's passing. Hugs to the whole family.
Sue Lensmire
January 31, 2020
Saddened to hear of Gordons passing. My deepest condolences to the family. Gordon was always fun to be around and I especially enjoyed working with him to start his flying career. Gordon was a great person. He will be in my prayers and may God bless the Stephens family.
Robert Severin
Friend
January 31, 2020
Stephens family sorry for your loss Gordon was good man I started working at Ironwood Plastics in 82 he was a good man to work with well respected by every one I was the first maintenance person hired there worked there for 27 years until retirement again sorry for your loss
Jerry Mattson
Friend
January 31, 2020
Dear Stephen's family ,
Condolences to you all, upon the death of Gordon, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and brother. Blessings and guidance on the days to come.
Your neighbor, in Wisconsin,
Florence Hanson, 916 Hawthorne Court, Manitowoc WI 54220
Florence Hanson
Neighbor
January 31, 2020
The Stephens family has our deepest sympathy in the loss of Gordon. He was a hard working family man.
Dan Pawlitzke
January 31, 2020
Joan, Mark, Scott, Rob & Gregg; my sincere condolences on the passing of Gordon. Not a week goes by that I don't remember Gordon and all of you. The lives that were changed working for IWP in both Ironwood and Two Rivers cannot be calculated. Please take comfort in knowing that you were part of a family with such a great man.
Tim Foster
Coworker
January 30, 2020
We are saddened to read of Mr. Stephens passing and send our deepest sympathy to his entire family. You are all in our prayers at this most difficult time.
Helen & Bernie Finco
January 30, 2020
A really nice man that was a pleasure to know.
Frank Long
Friend
January 30, 2020
a loved one
January 30, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Stephens family.
Jeff Richards
January 30, 2020
We are sorry for your loss. I knew Gordon through business as a man of integrity , adventure, and a devoted family man. I will miss Gordon, but I will always remember what he stood for.
Marita and I offer our heartfelt sympathies and prayers to Joan and all the Stephens family.

Charles and Marita Librizzi
Charles Librizzi
January 30, 2020
Very sorry for your loss. Thoughts & prayers are with you Bob
Robert Banthin
Friend
January 29, 2020
I am so sorry for your loss! What an amazing life and family he had! You are all in my thoughts and prayers. This quote helped me so Im sharing it with you. Grief is like the ocean, it comes and goes in waves and all you can do is learn how to swim. I am so glad you were all there with him. If theres anything we can do please let us know.
Stephanie Keller
Friend
January 29, 2020
I have the privilege and honor of knowing and calling his sons Mark and Scott my friends who spoke so highly of their father and the values he instilled in them. Clearly, the thirst for adventure, travel and challenges runs deep in the Stephens family, and Gordon should be proud of raising such outstanding children. My heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the entire Stephens family.
Glenn Mau
Friend
January 28, 2020
We are so sorry for your loss. Your father was a delightful man, always had wonderful stories and always so proud of his family. Our prayers are with all of you. Again very, very sorry!
Heidi Tice
Family
January 28, 2020
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