Our Utahman, who lived a life the way he wanted with a smile and open heart along the way has left us. He worked hard, played hard, and loved even harder! He was a fighter for those he cared about, and all he ever wanted was to see people to become successful without any judgement. His smile, loud laugh and love for the outdoors will be missed.
Bill Gordon, was born April 23rd, 1945 in Ogden, Utah to Charlotte & Joseph William Sander. Bill adopted Oakley J. Gordon as his father when he was 15. He grew up in Salt Lake City, where he attended, and graduated from Olympus High School (1963), and later graduating from the University of Utah, with a Bachelor in History (1968). I would be remiss to not share his nicknames of Mr. Bill, Billy, Bar-b-que Bill, and his favorite by far, Grandpa.
He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Elizabeth Gordon, his wife of over 53 years! The two of them “literally fell into each other’s lives” during a Utah vs BYU football game, and there was no stopping them from that day forward! They started their lives together in San Bernardino, CA and moved several times to Cleveland, Ohio, St Louis, Missouri, Boston, Massachusetts and Redmond, WA while he was working for Ralston Purina (1968-1982). Later that year, he started a new career, (as our Fish Monger) working for North Pacific Seafoods (1982-1997), and ended his career working for Trident Seafoods (1997-2002). After retirement from the daily grind, he returned back for the winters to his love, Alta. He worked with Heidi for a couple years in skier services, and played everyday skiing whenever he could!
He will be remembered as an amazing son, brother, husband, father, professional mentor, and dedicated friend who was always curious to hear stories and updates of them and their kids or grandkids often. One thing that I will always remember, was that our door was always open to anyone in need, and he looked to help in any way.
He is survived by his wife Shannon Gordon, Heidi (Clark), Pete (Adrianne), his three grandsons Thomas, Brayden and Spencer. Also survived by his brother Oakley (Betsy) Gordon, and by Pam (Paul) Jacob.
Some of our favorite activities were staying and skiing at Alta with friends and family. He shared this affinity to the amazing lodge and resort with all of us growing up, and will say that watching his three grandkids learn to all ski, and pick up and continue his love for the area brought a larger than life smile to his face. Bill encouraged us to pursue sports and was with us always as we did.
After my parents both retired, they started things off by returning to Salt Lake City where they were both able to volunteer for the 2002 Olympic games, as ambassadors to visitors coming from all over the world. They were also able to attend to their desire to see new things and travel together, and travel they did! They spent amazing times together traveling and visiting many countries in Europe, Asia and cities in the US. Some of their favorites were Switzerland, Austria, Tibet, Japan, Russia, and the Netherlands.
Bill lived a life of love surrounded by friends and family, and his friendship, guidance and love will be missed and carried on in all of us forever! We all thank you for your love, support and notes during this trying time! He will be laid to rest on August 3rd, in Salt Lake City. Followed up by gatherings in Salt Lake City, UT, and Redmond, WA for his “celebration of life”. Family and friends will receive details in regards to timing at a later date.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the J William Gordon Endowed Scholarship in the Department of History, at the University of Utah. You can mail any donations to 332 South 1400 East, Suite 160, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0300. Also consider donations of your choice.
We love you Dad, you will be in our hearts forever! GO UTES!
Life Story Info
Shannon, Pete, Heidi and family… sending you all our love and happiest memories. We were so fond of Bill. His smile and sense of humor, warmth and zest for life will be missed, but we promise to carry them with us and always think of him while on the slopes! He was such a great person and always a blast to ski with, barbecue with or just be around at the cabin. When Lina is old enough we are going to tell her about him and make sure she loves the mountains as much as he did. Much love to your family always. -Kirsten, Jason and Lina
Dear Shannon, Heidi, Pete and families - In our long and rambling conversations, Bill always glowed with pride when talking about all of you and your accomplishments - especially the grandchildren. He truly loved you guys, and it showed (even though he often tried not to).
Bill was a caring and attentive friend, a guy who made me laugh, who unfailingly had a cheery word or two, always spoken with a smile in his voice. I am so glad to have known Bill as a friend and colleague during some of the best days of our lives. Heather, Chris and Anthony and I send you our deepest condolences.
We are so sad to hear that Bill has passed. We will remember him for his love of his family, friendship, and sense of humor — oh yes, the laugh! Those qualities will stay with you Shannon, Heidi, and Peter, and help you to find peace and comfort. We send hugs and prayers for all of you as you find your way through such a difficult loss.
We are sad that our friends Earthly journey is complete, he is now free and sharing heavenly warm love…pain free. If we could have one selfish Earthly wish it would be to sit together watching a game 7 world series win for our M’s. I know his is strong and will always keep his memory alive. Rest in Peace old friend.