Obituary of Gordon Jackson

Gordon E Jackson of N Glenwoods, Gales Ferry died on Nov 25, 2020.

He was born in Winchester, NH on May 23, 1924, the son of Andrew and Louise (Hodgkins) Jackson. He attended Winchester schools and graduated Thayer High as valedictorian in 1942.

Gordon enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a cadet in 1942, earning his pilot wings in 1944. He served in the 376'th Bombardment group (515'th Sq) of the 15'th AF flying B-24 missions over Europe from Italy. Among other ribbons he was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and received 5 Battle stars. In later years he would tell of close calls his crew had from thick German flak and other incidents. Following college he extended his military career by joining the Air Force Reserve flying C-47's and a half dozen other aircraft out of Otis AFB. He later became the New London training squadron commander and retired as a Lt Colonel after 20 years.

Returning from WW-2 Gordon attended the Univ of New Hampshire, graduating Cum Laude in Chemical Engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Chi Sigma and the Vector Society. He played Violin in the University Symphony Orchestra and Trumpet in the Symphonic Band. He later graduated the Management Development Program from Rensselaer Polytech.

Gordon married Ann Kucharski of Exeter NH on April 21, 1951 and then resided in the PA-NJ area working as a supervisor for Baker Chemical Co. He joined Pfizer in Groton as a chemical engineer in 1956, rising to become head of the Caffeine Dept, then head of the Penicillin and Antibiotic Recovery Depts before becoming Production Manager for the plant. He retired in the late 80's.

Gordon was a past director of the New London Junior Chamber of Commerce, member of the Thames Club and Navy League. He was a Church Trustee & Deacon of the Norwich Congregational Church and a lifetime member of the American Chemical Society, Air Force Association, Univ of NH Alumni Assoc, Pi Mu Epsilon, and the Retired Officers Association.

Gordon was a lifetime member of Kiwanis, serving since 1971 with 45 years of perfect attendance. He was a past president of the New London Club, past New England Lt Governor, and belonged to the Shafer Legacy Society. Besides Kiwanis Gordon was involved with many other charitable foundations including The Salvation Army and L&M Hospital's Lawrence Society and Presidents Circle.

Gordon enjoyed the outdoors as a kid, including hunting & fishing, and was a charter member of the Ledyard Sportsman Club. He played baseball & basketball in high school and followed UConn hoops and the NE Patriots. He also enjoyed watching the Tour de France live, especially the spectacular aerial views of Europe. He bowled after starting his career, then took up golfing and skiing which he did into his seventies in VT & NH. Gordon supported the Friends of Pisgah, who represented the beautiful wild area (now a State Park) where he was born in a logging camp and his dad handled the horses. He hiked Mt Kathadin in the 60's while on vacation, then began hiking more of the Appalachian Trail, becoming a lifetime member of the AMC & ATC. He hiked many local CT trails as well. His love of the beauty & mystery of nature reflected his deep appreciation of life.

Gordon valued family highly and visited his and Ann's parents, brother's and sister's families often. His retirement years were spent traveling with Ann throughout the US & Canada, with cruises to Europe, the Caribbean, and Alaska. Ann, who was outgoing and enjoyed people, made these trips especially memorable. Gordon took many photos, going through a dozen cameras over the years.

Mr Jackson is survived by his son Gordon Jr; daughter Carol Chapman; grandchildren Amanda & Christopher Chapman; brother Wayne Jackson of Colo, and many nieces & nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Ann, sister Yvonne Smart, and son-in-law Al Chapman. Gordon's personal integrity & character came from being conscientious, yet humble; frugal, but generous. He lived a rich full life, and will be missed greatly by his family.

A private graveside service will be held at Avery Stoddard Cemetery, Ledyard.