- Date Of Birth: September 9, 1921
- Date Of Death: December 19, 2014
- State: Montana
John Gordon, 93 of Cascade, passed away December 19, 2014 at Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, MT.
John was a life-long cattle rancher in the Adel area southeast of Cascade. He was born September 9, 1921 to Merrill and Edith (Atkinson) Gordon. John was the youngest of four children; sister, Margaret Lestz, brother, M.K. (Kern) Gordon and sister, Helen, who died at age 4.
John attended Soldier Creek School through eighth grade, continuing onto Cascade HS, graduating in 1938. He went to college in Bozeman and joined the ROTC. His schooling was interrupted by WWII. He enlisted in the Army on April 13, 1943 and served in the South Pacific. He was a Technical Platoon Sergeant in the 128th Infantry. He acquired a Purple Heart Medal from a shrapnel wound, and was awarded the Bronze Star for carrying a buddy out of harm’s way, under fire, in the battle near Luzon, Philippines. He was honorably discharged on December 6, 1945 and returned to college, graduating with a degree in Ag Econ in 1948. After graduation, he returned to working on the Gordon Ranch with his father.
In 1950 John met his future wife, Betty Gibbs, through mutual friends. Betty, a Floridian, was working as a Lab Technician at the Deaconess Hospital in Great Falls. They dated for a brief period, and then Betty moved back to Florida. They corresponded for nearly a year before John drove to Florida to propose. They were married in St. Petersburg September 29, 1951. John and Betty returned to Montana to begin their joint adventure in ranching. They had four children: Carol, Steven, David and Lynn. To break up the steady work the family enjoyed playing volleyball with neighbors, fishing, swimming in nearby creeks, horseback riding, and climbing Castle Rock.
As the years went by, John and Betty hosted an annual barn dance, an event many in the community looked forward to. Golfing became a favorite past-time with friends and family exploring courses around the state.
John was generous with his time through many Lions community projects such as Atkinson Park, the HS outdoor track, and the picnic shelter at City Railroad Park. He served on the Cascade school board for 19 years, was also on the State Fair board, served as Cascade County Farm Bureau President, was a past state director of Farm Bureau, member of Montana Stockgrowers, and was a Mason. He was also very involved in the construction and completion of the Education building and maintenance of the Cascade United Methodist Church.
John loved to read. He had a memory for people, places, history and geography that was unparalleled. He held a gift for writing and those who received his colorful Christmas letters would agree.
John was a well-respected cattle rancher. His love for the Gordon Ranch was his focus in life. He spent a lifetime developing and making improvements, establishing a family operation he was very proud of. He was a hardworking, honest and humble man, a loving husband and father. A wonderful friend to many. He will be greatly missed.
John was predeceased by his wife Betty of over 60 years; sister, Margaret and husband Gerald Lestz, brother, Merrill Kern Gordon II; sister, Helen; son, John “David” Gordon; and grandson, Geoffrey Gardner.
Survivors are his daughter, Carol (Ken) Brady of Cascade; son, Steve (Josie) Gordon of Adel; daughter, Lynn (Greg) Gardner of Polson; four granddaughters, Jen (Cory) Olsen, Cindy (Zac) Barnhart, Brittany (Wacey) Cathey, Ahnna Gordon; two grandsons, Chris (Nicole) Rossmiller and Dain Gordon; six great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Bette (Kern) Gordon of Winfield, KS; and numerous nieces and nephews.