Gordon passed away June 6, 2022 into the hands of God, in the company of his family, and his friends and caregivers at James L West.
Memorial Service: 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, TX.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request to please make donations to First Presbyterian Church (for Community Crossroads).
Gordon was born June 25, 1938 to Roy and Alice VanAmburgh in Roanoke, Virginia and was raised in Syracuse, New York. He was a graduate of Syracuse University, where he was a member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, and completed the ROTC program. Immediately after college Gordon married his high school sweetheart, Brenda Benson, also a graduate of Syracuse. Together they began a venturesome and fulfilling life. Gordon’s career began as an officer in the US Army, stationed first in West Germany, then up and down the US east coast. He became an Airborne Ranger, and eventually achieved the rank of Major. Gordon and Brenda began and raised a family of four children during this time, frequently moving their home. His military career was marked by a tour in Vietnam where he was awarded a Silver Star for his efforts protecting the Vietnamese unit he was advising during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Gordon’s military experience provided further development of his leadership and service skills that had always been a central part of his life.
After Vietnam, and partly because of it, Gordon and Brenda made a commitment to the service of God. Gordon accepted a position as a Regional Director for the Navigators, a Christian outreach and ministry organization. This led them from Columbus, Georgia to Fort Worth, Texas in 1972. It was an adventurous time of fellowship and friends, lively rallies and conferences, winter and summer trips to Colorado, an overstuffed station wagon trip to Mexico City, annual lake visits to Huntsville, Alabama, and practical jokes around every corner. Gordon mastered and applied his gifts of teaching, mentoring and touching lives, assisting those in need spiritually and personally. During this time he completed a Masters in Biblical Studies and a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in counseling and gerontology. He became an ordained minister and served as a guest speaker at several area churches and officiated many wedding and funeral services for friends.
Gordon’s calling eventually led to a more personal and intimate way to help others. In 1979 Gordon, with Brenda as partner, opened a private non-profit counseling practice. As Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, they impacted the lives of thousands of people and families. They joined First Presbyterian Church where Gordon immersed himself in teaching classes, mission trips, prayer groups, Room in the Inn, and Community Crossroads. He was a part time staff member responsible for the small group ministry.
Gordon and Brenda enjoyed an amazing 62 year marriage, they relished the experiences raising their family and participating in the growth of their children’s families. They were passionate travelers; visiting most of the US and Canadian National Parks, all fifty states, Africa, most of Europe, as well as the USSR, Cuba, China, and a trip to Vietnam to reconcile old experiences.
He was preceded in death by parents, Roy and Alice VanAmburgh and stepfather, Robert Carter.
Gordon is loved and remembered by Brenda; his son, Gordon and wife, Jeanne of Rockwall, TX, with grandchildren, Laura, Emily and husband, Colton, and Anna, and great-grandchild Ava; son, Bart and wife, Lisa of Fort Worth, TX, with grandchildren, Alexandria and Carter; daughter, Cindy of Philadelphia, PA, with grandchildren, Charlie and Zachary; daughter, Laura of Muir Beach, CA, with grandchildren, Tessa and Camila; and his brother, Tom and husband, Jack of Tarpon Springs, FL.