Helen Dean Gordon
Helen Dean Gordon, 103, passed away on June 6, 2017, at the Havenwood Heritage Heights Retirement Community. Helen was born on April 26, 1914, in Franklin, New Hampshire, the daughter of Horace and Ethel Dean. When Helen was 15, her infant cousin Natalie Hartwell joined the Dean family and the two girls enjoyed a lifelong sisterly bond.

An eager and accomplished student, Helen was valedictorian of her 1931 graduating class at Franklin High School. In later years she told entertaining stories of her long walks to school and of her first summer job, managing the candy counter at the local F.W. Woolworth Store. Helen majored in foreign language studies at Bates College, where she graduated in 1935. She began her teaching career at Kennett High School, in Conway, New Hampshire where her role as girls' basketball coach ignited her lifelong interest in that sport.

In Conway, Helen met another young educator, Irvin Gordon, who hailed from Gorham, Maine. They shared a devotion to public education, to coaching high school sports, and to the beauty of New Hampshire's North Country. Helen Dean and Irvin Gordon married in March of 1940, and in 1943, they moved to Marlborough, New Hampshire, where Irvin served as elementary and high school Principal.

Helen consistently provided encouragement and enthusiastic support for the many athletic and academic activities of her five children. She enjoyed her vegetable and flower gardens, and found time to serve multiple terms as town tax collector, school census officer, and church treasurer. In the 1960s Helen began the second phase of her teaching career in the Foreign Language Department of Keene High School, enriching her own preparation along the way with a Master's Degree from Keene State College. She was devoted to helping students of Latin and French appreciate the origins and richness of language, and was delighted that many of these students remembered her with greetings on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

Helen had a great love for the town of Marlborough, where she was an active member of the Federated Church throughout her life. She spoke often of her gratitude for the cherished and enduring friendships she had made in Marlborough, and she was especially thankful for the thoughtfulness of neighbors during her later years. The Havenwood Heritage Heights Retirement Community had been her home since 2006.

In addition to her parents, Helen was predeceased by Irvin Gordon, her husband of 59 years, her cousin, Natalie Lourie, a daughter-in-law, Dr. Denise Maslakowski, and a son-in-law, Russell Dennis.

Helen is survived by her five children: Carolyn Johansen (Martin), of Waterbury, Vermont, Virginia Dennis (companion, Marty Lauterwald), of Newark, Delaware, Irvin D. Gordon, of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, Robert W. Gordon (Catherine) of Bowdoinham, Maine, and Marcia Goodnow (Donald) of Madbury, New Hampshire.

Her grandchildren and step-grandchildren include: Karl Johansen (Linda) of Valparaiso, Florida, Craig Johansen (Heather) of Saugerties, New York, Carol Smith (Jeffrey) of Waterbury, Vermont, Kurt Johansen (Kara) of Hoschton, Georgia, Christopher Dennis (Helen) of Hockessin, Delaware, Andrew Dennis (Laura) of Newark, Delaware, Karen Dennis (Jessica) of Washington D.C., William Gordon of Seattle, Washington, Edward Erikson (Nicole) of Washington D.C., Meleena Sheffler (Huey) of Topsham, Maine, Matthew Goodnow, of Homer, Alaska and Reverend Emily Goodnow (partner, Noah Garrison) of Bridgton, Maine. In addition, Helen is survived by 18 great grandchildren. Her survivors also include: Arthur, Cindy, Dianne and Richard Lourie, the husband and children of her cousin Natalie.

A celebration of Helen's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at the Marlborough Federated Church, with a reception following at the Marlborough Community House.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Irvin and Helen Gordon Scholarship Fund, C/O the Federated Church, 16 Pleasant Street, Marlborough, New Hampshire 03455.
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Published by Union Leader on Jun. 13, 2017.
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18 Entries
My sincere condolences to Marcia and the family. I had Mrs. Gordon for Latin 1 at Keene High School. Helen and the late Phil Kirkpatrick inspired me to love the Latin language. I enjoyed looking at Helen's cheerful smile and hearing her laugh!
Janet Freeman
June 16, 2017
God certainly blessed you with a very long and productive life Mrs. Gordon. I remember you both from KHS and the Church, as you were my Latin I teacher, and I sang in the Jr. Choir which was directed by your daughter Marcia, who I believe she taught Sunday School there as well. May your family be comforted knowing that you touched the lives of so many in a positive way, and that you have left them with such wonderful stories to tell of your life.
Donna Ward
June 15, 2017
So very sorry to read about Helen's passing. She was a dear lady and colleague at KHS
Took many foreign language trips together in early years at KHS .
Rest In Peace, Helen
Angela Seaver
June 14, 2017
What a gal! Mrs. Gordon introduced me to Latin when I was a Freshman at KHS in 1969. Her influence was so strong that I went on to major in Latin and went back to student teach under her tutelage in 1977. She was inspirational and supportive beyond words. Femina facti dux. RIP, Helen.
Bonnie Willis
June 14, 2017
My sincere condolences to the family,may the God of all comfort you in this time of comfort.
June 14, 2017
When I grow up I want to be just like Mrs. Gordon living a long and happy life with a sweet smile, clarity of mind, full of integrity, beauty, and grace. Sending my love to all and praying for her loving family. What a privilege to have been in her Latin class as a young teen and to reconnect with her in recent years. Blessed assurance to know I will see her again one day and a sweet reunion will be shared. Peg~
Peg Hawthorne
June 14, 2017
Your mom imbued me with a love of language, beginning with Latin at Keene High School, and percolating through English and literature my whole life long. She was a wonderful teacher and a kind and loving woman.
Carol O'Day
June 13, 2017
So sorry to hear of Helen's passing. Having known here for more than 60 years as Mrs. Gordon, the mother of my lifelong friend, her son, Robert...l knew an intelligent hard working woman who loved her family, her community, and her career as an educator. She never stopped learning...what a role model. She will be missed, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to know her.
John Lovering
June 13, 2017
My love of language started when I was young and was nurtured by my wonderful Latin teacher Mrs. Gordon. We reconnected many years later through a mutual friend. She joined our book group when she was in her 90's. Her insight and intellect were still sharp. I will miss my visits with my dear friend. I send along healing hugs and my condolences.
Pat Weisberg
June 13, 2017
I send your family my condolences. Your mom has left a positive mark on my life through those many years. I will always remember her with that smile she always seem to have. A great lady.
Cherlyn Packard Zeller
June 13, 2017
Mrs. Gordon was always a woman of grace and class, I remember her quiet manner and lovely smile most from my childhood. I too loved Marlborough, I can appreciate her good taste in that regard. I didn't know of her love of basketball and sports. In reconnecting with Ginny, and more recently with Marcia, I was blessed to have seen graceful and bright aging, with deep beauty of the soul. Godspeed, Mrs. Gordon, you have so much to be proud of here on Earth. With love and deepest condolences to all the family, Jill
Jill Bailey
June 13, 2017
Those we have laughed with, leaned on, learned from, and loved leave us the best memories.
Ginny, we have you and your family in our prayers.
Don and Joyce Lowe
June 13, 2017
Robin and I have very wonderful memories of both your parents and the family. Both of your parents were amazing people and you all were such a great part of our little town of Marlborough. Our sympathy to you all .....
June 13, 2017
What priviledge it was to know your family. I have fond memories of both of your parents. Not many are able to live such a long productive life. Love and prayers to you all.
June 13, 2017
I never met your Mom, but felt I knew her through your wonderful stories. , How lucky you had her for all those years, only wish my mom was still here.How very fortunate you are to have all those brothers and sisters. We have been friends for so many years have lost count, must be going on 40 something. You are still the best friend and sure you learned this from you beautiful mom. Hugs to your family, Lynn
Lynn Turner
June 13, 2017
What a wonderful life she has led. It was nice to be a little part of it. Rest In Peace, Mrs. Gordon..
Gerald Hils
June 13, 2017
I wish to send my condolences to the Gordon family. Mrs. Gordon was a neighbor of my grandmother, Dora Packard, and we Packard girls got to know her fondly. She was a wonderful woman and will be truly miss. Sandra Packard Sumner
Sandra (Packard) Sumner
June 13, 2017
We are so sorry to hear of your mom's passing, Irv. We know what a special relationship you had. We are thinking of you.
Molly and Brian Rossignol
June 13, 2017
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