Memorial Statement Adopted by Univ of Minnesota Senate RE: John R. Gordon, M.D.
Dr. John Gordon of Minneapolis, emeritus professor of anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota, died on Friday, March 17, 2000 from complications
associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Gordon was born March 16, 1923 in Schreiber, Ontario, Canada. Before entering medical school he served as a flight navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. He served from 1942 to 1944 and was later honored as a war hero and decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After being shot down over enemy territory he was credited with aiding fellow crew members in escaping their disabled aircraft. He was held prisoner of war until the war ended in 1944. Following his military service he married Colleen M. Carroll of Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario. He received a full scholarship to attend a four-year college and medical school at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He was also the president of his 1951 medical school graduating class. Following graduation he completed a residency in anesthesia at the University of Minnesota and subsequently joined the anesthesia department. During his tenure he served as president of the Minnesota Society of Anesthesiology and as an examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology. His research interests in the 1950's included the physiology of intrapleural and intrapulmonary pressures. He was an outstanding teacher and admired by his colleagues, residents, and medical students for his ability to bring clnical relevance to basic science subjects. His lectures were always well prepared, very coherent, and easy to comprehend. He was a leader in the field of anesthesiology and published many articles and authored chapters in several anesthesia textbooks. His fellow anesthesia academicians always held him in the highest esteem. We remember him as a scholarly, honest, straightforward, gentle clinician.
In addition to his professional work, Dr. Gordon was a poet, an avid historian, a philatelist, an ice hockey buff, a lover of classical and popular music and Shakespearean and classical theater. Most notably he will be remembered as a steadfast, trusting colleague who was loved by many for his generosity, humility, social charm, and engaging sense of humor.