William Laster GordonAugust 30, 1950 ~ November 12, 2017 (age 67)
William Laster Gordon (or as his wife, Jo Ann, lovingly referred to him as "Bill-Gordon"), 67, died peacefully on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family and wife who was his high school sweetheart and love of his life for over 50 years.
Bill Gordon was larger than life. He was a man of great physical stature. But even bigger than that was his heart, his fierce love and devotion to his family, and the great amount of admiration he had for his friends. Above all, night after night, it was eating his homemade vanilla Blue Bell Ice Cream with Hershey syrup out of the same bowl for 50 years that brought Bill happiness. We thought his life might have been cut even shorter when Blue Bell ice cream was recalled, but thankfully, he survived his “Great Depression.”
He had a passion for working with wood. Affectionately known as “The Great Chuppah Maker,” he crafted the most beautiful works of art by hand, notably a family chuppah that travels the country for family weddings. To ship it across country, he constructed a custom box with detailed instructions in the case someone else had to assemble the chuppah in his absence.
He was a compassionate and generous man who never met a stranger. Even in the end, while suffering from Frontotemporal Dementia, he asked his family if he could go to Houston to take donations to those suffering from the hurricanes. That is just who he was. He gave everything he had to make sure those around him had everything they needed.
Bill learned his life lessons from growing up in the community of Winona, MS. There, he still has many cherished and loved friends. In 1974, he and Jo Ann moved to Canton, MS, for Bill to join the family business--Perlinsky's Men’s Store. It was in Canton where he and Jo Ann built their life, family and home, and they filled it with the ultimate community of relationships overflowing with love and support.
Professionally, Bill loved his work and the people with whom he worked at Yates Construction and The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, from which he recently retired. Bill found great satisfaction, not only in the work he did, but in getting to know the countless people with whom he worked over the years. They were not co-workers, but his family.
Visitation for Bill will be at Breeland Funeral Home on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. His Celebration of Life will be held at Beth Israel Synagogue at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 with visitation and a Blue Bell Ice Cream reception immediately following.
He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Juawice and Alton Gordon, his brother Jimmy, and his beloved father-in-law, Ellis T. Hart.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Hart Gordon, his children Stephanie Gordon Kashdan (Jeff) of Roswell, GA., Nikki Gordon Pollack (Gerald) of League City, TX, and Joel Gordon (Odessa) of Stevensville, MT; five grandchildren: Ella Hart Kashdan, Riley and Spencer Pollack, and Sophia and Alton Gordon; mother-in-law Reva Hart of Madison, MS, aunt Dorothy Raper of Duck Hill, MS, many nieces and nephews whom he adored, countless cousins (outlaws included), and his enormous group of treasured friends.
Frontotemporal Dementia is a complicated form of dementia with no known cause or cure. Bill was diagnosed last December with this horrible disease that affects so much of the brain. The only way for researchers to continue studying this horrific disease is for people to donate their brains after they have passed away. Our family chose to honor Bill’s life by donating his brain to Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, to enable ongoing research and help find a cure. In lieu of flowers, you may make memorial contributions to one of the following organizations: The Brain Support Network, brainsupportnetwork.org, The Department of Palliative Care at UMMC or The Mind Center at UMMC.