Gordon Lankton
Miles-Sterling Funeral Home & Tribute Center
100 Worcester Rd
Sterling, MA
Gordon B. Lankton

Worcester/Clinton - Gordon B. Lankton, Husband, Father, Plastics Entrepreneur, Museum Founder, Perpetual Collector, and Key-Holder to the Town of Clinton has passed away on March 7, 2021, just shy of 90 years of a very committed, unconventional, and illustrious life.

Even as a young boy, Gordon was a collector of everything from pennies to WWII war posters that he delivered as a boy scout - and he cherished and held onto these collections throughout his life.

At Cornell University, he had a standout career not as much for his engineering grades, but for his leadership as Student Council President, his involvement in the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and his travel to Japan for the Japanese-American Student Alliance. It was those fellow Japanese students that he later did business with long before globalization was even a concept.

Before beginning his career, Gordon served in the Army's Intelligence Department in Frankfurt, Germany for two years, followed by a 9-month motorcycle trip accompanied by his good college friend, George. The journey took him through Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and finally Japan, before he finally made it back home in Peoria, Illinois. There were lots of memorable events along the way, but in his words, the most important theme that came out of his experience was "somehow I have to focus my life on minimizing the enormous disparity of living conditions in the world - primarily the living standards of Americans vs. the 20¢ per day families in Asia;" a purpose that guided him throughout all of his adult life, along with his affinity towards people of all creeds and nations.

Gordon married his wife Janet Kilby, a fellow Cornellian, in 1958 and at the age of 30 he put a one-line ad in the newspaper looking for partner ownership in a business. Fred Kirk of Nylon Products in Clinton, MA responded in 1961 and the rest is history as Gordon eventually led the growth of Nylon Products into Nypro, Inc, a billion $ Injection Molding Plastics Company with manufacturing plants all over the world.

After retiring from Nypro, new endeavors beckoned, and in 2006 Gordon founded the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, a testament to his love of the Russian people he came to know in the 1980's and his love of the Town of Clinton, which allowed him to pursue his dreams and aspirations.

Gordon will be remembered by many in the corporate world as a customer-focused leader and an innovative thinker, however he will always remain in the hearts of his loving wife Janet and daughters; Susan, Karen and Lauren as their world-travel guide, consummate backgammon and caroms player, no pain/no gain competitor in all extracurricular sporting events and practical joker.

In addition to his immediate family Gordon leaves his sister, Janice and husband Michael Negley; sons-in-law Eduardo Rivas (Susan), Mike Schmidt (Karen), and Chuck Weisshaar (Lauren); 7 grandchildren, Lara, Kyra (Steven and great-grandson Cory) and Mark (Miceala) Schmidt; Jeffrey and Bryan Rivas; and Matt and Alicia Weisshaar; and one niece and several nephews. Gordon is predeceased by his parents J. Fletcher and Freida Lankton and his brother, Harold Lankton.

Funeral Services will be private. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Gifts can be made to The Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton, MA 01510 or The Nypro Foundation, 101 Union St., Clinton, MA 01510. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Miles-Sterling Funeral and Tribute Center.


Published by Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Mar. 8 to Mar. 12, 2021.
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35 Entries
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad and husband. Peace be with you all. Sending prayers and love from my family to yours.
Judy Rotti Conway
April 19, 2021
Great Boss , thank to him and the person that I am today, thank you our prayers are with your family RIP.
Jose Carreño
April 10, 2021
Jabil Healthcare Worldwide
April 9, 2021
I only met Gordon a couple times as an employee. Yet his generosity is still making a difference in many lives, the world needs more like him. Thank you Gordon.
Sam Underwood
March 25, 2021
I am so sorry to see that you dad and husband has passed away. He was so nice to our family, and he allowed you Lauren try to be our best baby sitter for Tara and Katie. I hope that all is well with Lanktons, please take care of yourselves. With all my heart and soul I wish you all the best.
Kevin mccormick
March 24, 2021
Many fond memories of your dad-i was proud to know him, so kind. My family enjoyed all of his modern "plastic puzzles", which we so enjoyed in the 'family room' in WB. karen, suzie and lauren and mrs. Lankton, peace be with you all and to your extended families. Love Donna
donna (welsh)navarro
March 18, 2021
I am gutted to hear that the world will no longer be graced by your presence. For so many reasons, you are THE most amazing human I have met in my life. Ever since not being at MoRI, a month hasn't gone by that I'm not reminded of you in some way. I have dedicated my professional career to caring for others and I always admired how you unapologetically did the same. I feel so grateful to have known you and I want you to know that I will never forget you. YOU are spectacular Gordon, absolutely SPECTACULAR. May you rest in peace and watch over us as we take our own long way home to meet you on the other side. Thinking of you and sending all my love Janet, Sue, Karen, Lauren, and family.
Jocelyn Willis
March 16, 2021
Those who knew Gordon as I did will never forget the man and for many diverse reasons. For my family we all know and remember him just like he remembered us, always calling my family members by their first name every time he met them, mostly at the annual Christmas party held at the Clinton town hall. Gordon loved the children of Nypro employees. If it were not for Gordon our family would still be in Wisconsin and who knows how our individual and collective lives would have turned out. When asked why he sold Nypro, a billion dollar company with 25 factories in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific for only $50 Million Dollars, he said, "How many millions does a man need in this world"? He was a humanitarian business man who cared more for the little man than the executive board room, walking the production floor and chatting with anyone who came to him. A generous man who gave millions away to his employees through world wide profit sharing, and ultimately the company when it sold, enabling many dreams that would not have come true. In memory of this we have a picture of Gordon at our lake house, one dream that came true because of him. I´ll miss you Gordon, and every time we grace the Lake House I´ll feel your presence and guiding mentoring touch on our lives. The Eric Pettes Family
Eric Pettes
March 16, 2021
I had only the pleasure of speaking with this remarkable man a few times over the course of Eric`s career at Nypro. These encounters were usually at a large company event, but occasionally by chance, just bumping into one another on the streets of Clinton. No matter where, each time I did, Gordon stopped & showed a genuine interest in me as if I were the only one on the planet. He always remembered everything I had shared with him from our very 1st encounter, and he built on this. His memory for our names & details was astounding to me, as I realized he was truly interested in who I was. He was that way with everyone no matter how "big or small." He was a visionary, built an amazing profitable company, and rewarded all the employees for their dedication & hard work. This brilliant man was humble & touchable. His demeanor was welcoming & quiet, & I could never imagine him raising his voice or demanding anything, just encouraging to everyone. A father figure. He impacted so many lives in such a positive way all around the world, as he certainly did mine. He was the first of many of my husbands employers that recognized his value, talents, and integrity and rewarded him well for this. I was proud my husband worked for such a fine & generous man. We have Gordon´s picture on our kitchen windowsill, where it will remain as a forever reminder to for me & our family. We speak of him often. I will never ever forget where we are in life because of him. With sincere gratitude & deepest respect, I am so honored to have known him, Rest well sir, Stephanie Pettes
Stephanie Pettes
March 16, 2021
Among men, Gordon Lankton was a giant set apart by his philanthropy, generosity, and love of art....He will always be remembered.
Matthew Panagiotu
March 15, 2021
A few years ago I met Gordon in his phenomenal Icon Museum. On that day, I told him that knowing and meeting him at the museum would always stand as a wonderful memorable moment in my lifetime. We shared a strong interest in antique toys, of which he has many. Gordon was a beautiful man, larger than life. My sincere condolences to the Lankton family
Dudley Maddox
March 14, 2021
I met Gordon while working at the National Plastics Center and Museum He was the kind of man that gave everyone a chance and enriched a lot of lives along the way.. So sorry for your loss
Deborah Renzi
March 14, 2021
Gordon was endowed with many gifts throughout his long life. He made the most of them all. That made him not only a success but a genuinely good man. He enriched all our lives.
James Flynn
March 12, 2021
I am including a photo taken in 1986 as then presidential candidate Mike Dukakis sought a photo opportunity with Gordon at Nypro in Clinton , Massachusetts. Because of the hairnets a requirement in the Nypro clean rooms his campaign staff insisted the picture could never be published until now. I consider Gordon to be a mentor and his Icon museum a most relevant testament to inspiration of the human spirit to overcome censorship and political tyranny. I would again like to mention the appreciation and the gratitude the patrons of the West Boylston library have felt when in 1999 it was tripled in size and generously fully furnished by Gordon and Janet. While photographing a Nypro function years ago Gordon gave everyone in attendance a small book of inspiring quotations. l still have mine and the simplest Ben Franklin quotation that feel would also apply to Gordon´s life would be "Well done is better than well said."
Winthrop Handy
March 11, 2021
Singapore members
March 10, 2021
Gordon, you will be missed. You gave me an opportunity that I will not forget. You are an inspiration, and leader with whom others need to aspire to be.
Tom Kokernak
March 10, 2021
So sorry for your loss, My thoughts & prayers go out to his family. He was an amazing man, one of a kind. Was my pleasure to had the opportunity to work for him and being part of his Nypro family for 27 great years. He will always be remember. Margery
Margery Garcia
March 9, 2021
Gordon was one of the greatest guys that I´ve known. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him, he was a huge influence on my life and career. Gordon gave opportunities to many people in the plastics arena and trained many professionals in the plastics business. Nypro was never the same without him. Thank you Gordon for ten good years, wish I could´ve made more under your leadership. God´s speed and get your well deserved rest.
Bill Komara
March 9, 2021
My deepest condolences to the Lankton family, there are no words to express what he meant to all of us who got the chance to know him, he was a founder, mentor, friend but overall a great human being. Your Nypro family is with you and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace, my friend, Jorge Martinez and his family
Jorge Martinez Sr.
March 9, 2021
Meeting Gordon and getting to know him was something i will always treasure he was a great people person, prayers to all RIP Gordon
Paul Santos
March 9, 2021
Dear Mrs. Lankton, your Daughters and their Families. Our sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy to all of you. I consider myself fortunate to posses fond memories of our Wednesday morning coffee strategy meetings at Swisstech, which were educational and entertaining. When striking out on our own, it was Gordon's generosity of providing us with moulding work, that prevented our venture from certain failure. Gordon surely made the world a better place for many people. May he always be remembered. The Hauptmann Family
Henry Hauptmann
March 9, 2021
My thoughts & prayers go out to his family. Gordon was a giant in the plastic industry but a kind & generous man as well. He gave me the confidence that was needed to stand up & take charge. He touched so many people & help them in more ways than he might have known. Fly high with the angels.
Pat Trudeau
March 9, 2021
Lauren our deepest sympathy to you & your family. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting you Dad, I know he must have been a great person because of he raised a amazing daughter. All our love, Loren & Sherry.
Loren & Sherry Tontarski
March 9, 2021
Sympathy and prayers for his family and friends. He will always be a great man. He did a lot for many people. I am sad to hear of his passing. Rest in peace.
Tom Lindsay
March 9, 2021
It is with honor and privilege that I share Gordon's Icon collection with visitors to the Icon Museum. I treasure Gordon's friendship, Kindness, and goodwill. He remains an inspiration for all. Joan Michalski, Docent
Joan Michalski
March 9, 2021
Gordon was a nice guy. He got along with everyone. He was an inspiration to everyone that knew him. He was very generous too.
John Dearborn
March 8, 2021
A greater man I have never known. As director of the Clinton Home for 8 years we got to know Gordon due to housing many of the people who accompanied the Icons from Russia.He would often drop in to check all was well with his guests, I remember his little black book that he kept close and wrote everything he needed to recall in. He was kind, friendly and most generous especially to our small town. Our prayers and sympathy go out to his family. RIP you deserve it.
Jacqueline Innamorati
March 8, 2021
Thank you, Mr. Gordon B. Lankton, for making the Museum of Russian Icons come true, not only for my now departed Mom ... but also for me as well.: http://www.museumofrussianicons.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/GORDON-Press-Release_FINAL.pdf.
Mary C. Curtin
March 8, 2021
Deepest condolences to your family
Nancy Hubbard (Rotti)
March 8, 2021
We have lost a GREAT man. My condolences to his daughters and the rest of his family. The photo is when Gordon came to visit me in Monterrey, Mexico where I was General Manager.
Art Hau
March 8, 2021
Mr. Lankton's interest in Russian Iconography became my interest also as the museum offered seminars on writing Icons. His eyes lit up as he showed us his collections of cars & trucks. His generosity to everyone was evident in all he did.
Mona & Stephen Longley
March 8, 2021
Such a wonderful person. He will be missed. My prayers are with the family. Nicolas & Maria Mercado.
March 8, 2021
Dear Janet, Karen, Susan, Lauren and their families. Words cannot describe how sorry and sad I am for your loss. I can honestly say that in my lifetime, no one person has ever impressed me more than Gordon. So many loved him, for so many reasons, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. I will remember this amazing man forever and feel so blessed for being a part of his life.
Nancy Lee
March 8, 2021
Sorry for your loss.He was brilliant man and we have enjoyed his museum in Clinton Massachusetts.
Ann Marie Muckenstrom
March 8, 2021
Picture of one our first meeting in France back in 2000 signing a JV on a piece of paper... As a young engineer till today as a senior director, there has not been one day w/o thinking about Gordon's learnings and leadership. Really an amazing man and a true entrepreneur. You don't get to meet so many people like him in a life time. May he rest in peace. My sincere condolences to his wife and family. God bless him.
Thierry Picquart
March 8, 2021
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