Obituary: Gerald S. “Jerry” Gordon
PORTLAND — Gerald S. “Jerry” Gordon died June 1, 2022 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
A resident of Portland, Maine for over 60 years, Jerry was born April 9, 1933 in Lynn, Mass, the son of Nathan and Elizabeth “Betty” (Charcusky) Gordon. He was educated in Lynn Public Schools and graduated from classical high school in 1950 where he was elected a Fellow of the National Honor Society. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in management engineering in 1954 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. After graduating from RPI, he worked for Raytheon in Quincy and Newton, Mass, while studying for his MBA in finance at Northeastern University, which he earned in 1958.
He married the former Suzanne Mersky, a Portland native, on June 24, 1956. Their romance blossomed four years prior when they were both counselors at Camp Lown in Oakland, Maine. The couple moved to Portland in 1958 where Jerry entered the family shoemaking business. After some time in this business, he went to work for Portland Copper and Tank Company in South Portland as assistant to the general manager.
Eventually, looking for another business opportunity, he got into the life insurance business with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company (later Mass Mutual) as a field representative selling and servicing life insurance and investment products for over 50 years. Jerry has earned several industry certifications and served as president of the Maine Chapter, American Society of CLU, and vice president of the former Maine Society of Insurance Consultants. Jerry also made time to teach insurance, finance and business courses at the University of Southern Maine and Husson College, while being very active in civic organizations such as Portland Jaycees, Masonic Lodge and Rotary Club. One of Jerry’s proudest civic moments was as founder of Junior Achievement of Southern Maine. The program, which teaches K-12 students the value of free enterprise and prepares them for the world of work, began in 1965 with 100 students in the Portland area and, at its peak, served 11,000 students across the state. Another proud moment came as the head of the Portland Rotary International Service Committee, where he spearheaded a project that sent volunteer nurses and medical supplies from Portland to the Dominican Republic, along with their first X-ray machine. .
Jerry was also an active member of Temple Beth El in Portland where he served as chairman of its board, president of its men’s club, and was a “friendly visitor” to the elderly.
Jerry was a diligent student at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute and an active member of their outdoor walking club. Some of his other interests were World War II history, travel to Europe and the United States with his wife, and the fortunes of the Red Sox and Patriots. He is remembered for his devotion to his wife, Sue, to his children and grandchildren, and for his sense of humour, his love of music (especially marches, classical and ‘golden oldies’ ) and for his interest in current events.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife and lifelong friend Suzanne Gordon, as well as a brother, David Gordon. He is survived by his son Max, of West Hartford, Conn. and his wife Donna, son Bob of San Francisco, California and partner Juan Patino; his grandchildren Kasey, Matthew and Lev.
The family would like to thank Portland-based Paula Banks Consulting, Compass Concierge and Companions, and Connecticut-based Duncaster Assisted Living for the exceptional care and comfort they have provided over the past year.
An outdoor funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 7 at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth El Memorial Park at the junction of Congress St and Johnson Rd in Portland.
Donations in his memory can be made to the charity of your choice