Gordon E. R. Preston, age 83, passed away on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at the Life Care Center in Evergreen, Colorado. He was born on February 1, 1935, in Danube, Minnesota, and grew up in the farm country of the region before being drafted for military service in the 1950s. While stationed in Europe, he met and married Judy Preston (née Jensen), with whom he had three sons. As a Chief Warrant Officer, Gordon traveled the world. After earning his pension, he retired from the Army and moved to Euless, Texas, where he audited government contractors. In this capacity he oversaw an array of black ops projects including the production of the AT Bomber. He retired in 1997.
Of course, a man is more than his occupation and the pins in a map. Gordon was a life-long learner who read everything—from every plaque on every monument he passed to the great works of philosophy and theology that informed his Christian faith. Even in the last year of his life, he set aside at least two hours a day for online research. When arthritis finally made it too hard for him to type, he found a new use for the pencil in his breast pocket, using it to carefully reach every letter of every word he wrote. Because of this passion for knowledge and ideas, for Gordon words like “Love” and “Goodbye” were never sufficient (that is, unless he was on the phone). He was responsible for introducing into the family vocabulary the Greek word “Agape,” which is understood as the highest form of love and charity. Rather than say, “I love you” or “I would die for you,” he insisted on saying, “I would live for you”—“To die for someone is easy; it is life that is hard and full of tears.”
Gordon once said that his “desire was to have a large and close family and in my old age to have many kids and grandkids sitting at my feet to hear what I would give forth as ‘Wisdom Statements.’” This informed his self-admittedly “romantic” vision of what he called “the Clan Panduro-Preston.” It is a vision rooted in the love of family and the connection of shared history that reminds us we need not ever be alone. This Clan will only grow and flourish, and as of Gordon’s passing, he is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Judy; two sons and three daughters-in-law, John and Bonnie Preston, Jim and Carolyn Preston, and Kady Preston; three grandsons, three granddaughters, and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Jerry.
Toward the end, Gordon said many goodbyes, and so this was but one of many. He said, “Every time you see or hear something that makes you think, ‘How sweet!’ know that I am thinking the same about you. The spirit me has spent time in the womb world, on the earth, and is now looking forward to my next abode. See you all there someday. I will say hi to Jerry for you!!”
Private services will be held at Fort Logan National Cemetery where Gordon will be laid to rest with full military honors.