Lee Gordon – Raconteur/Conversationalist: I have a clear memory of the night that Bill Scott called me to tell me that Lee had died. I expressed my grief and disbelief that he was gone and after I said goodbye, I put on Bob Dylan’s Dream – a song about Dylan’s memories of times spent with old friends whom he might never see again – and repeatedly listened to it. My first recollection of Lee was as a member of a group that regularly met in the Tea Room and had the most wonderful, and often bizarre, conversations. The other members were Bill Scott, Bill Livingston, Dave McGinty, Walt McDonald and Dan Graham and one of their more memorable conversations was over whether Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia could whip Caesar’s 10th Legion (Bill Livingston assured me that it was the 10th Legion). They could talk about anything and apparently enjoy every minute. I came to know Lee better through some philosophy classes and our joint friendship with Bill Scott. Whether we were talking about Wittgenstein, the civil rights movement or something trivial, which Lee could always turn into something interesting and important, it was always a joy to talk to him. He was quick, insightful and very funny – sort of a cross between Charlie Rose and Stephen Colbert. The last time I saw him was on a visit that he and his wife had made to New York. I met them after work at an oyster bar, where I watched them eat and listened to Lee, with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other, make wonderful conversation. As always, I looked forward to the next time we would meet. He was one of a very special kind.
Joshua Rabinowitz ’66
From the Hutchinson, KS, News – September 1996
Reunion Takes a Tragic Turn
Where were you in ’62?
Lee Gordon, David Doane, and Dick Grove were in their senior year at Hutchinson High School, collecting memories to relive over and over again during the next 34 years.
Even though the three men scattered to the four winds after high school, they would periodically return to Hutchinson to refresh those memories.
“We hadn’t been back to Hutchinson since our 30th reunion in 1992,” Doane said, “but we all decided to meet here this weekend.”
However, those gatherings came to an end for 52-year-old Gordon Friday morning when he suffered a heart attach while driving down Main Street. “He probably got into town about 10 A.M. and knew it was too early to check into the motel,” Doane said. “We believe he stuck a “Twist and Shout” tape into the rental car’s tape player and headed down Main Street.”
Immediately after his heart attack, Gordon’s car crashed into a fountain. Among the personal effects gathered by police was an empty “Twist and Shout” cartridge case.
…Lee DeWayne Gordon, died September 13, 1996. He was born July 10, 1944 at Pratt, KS, and a 1962 graduate of Hutchinson High School He received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Texas, Austin. He taught philosophy at the University of Illinois for 15 years and was a supervisor for employee training programs for the Internal Revenue Service in Austin. He is survived by a brother, a sister, and a cousin.