Gordon was born on the family farm near Brampton, N. D., on June 23, 1925. He was the second of five sons born to Ernest and Amelia Geldreich. Growing up during the Great Depression instilled in him a work ethic that stayed with him throughout his whole life. If it was light out, Gordon was outside working on something.
His father was injured when he was in the ninth grade, which led him to leave school to put in the crops. He continued to work for his dad, and later took over the farm.
Gordon met Verna Erickson in the spring of 1954, and they were married on Oct. 10, 1954 in Aberdeen, S.D. He and Verna began a family and became parents to four daughters and two sons.
In 1959, he and Verna took a vacation out west. He was drawn to the Powell area due to the irrigation of farm land. They sold the farm in North Dakota, and purchased a small farm in the Powell Valley, where they resided from 1962 until 1983. During those years, Gordon worked at the Husky gas station, as a mechanic for Okay Chevrolet, at Johnson-Bolmeier, the International Harvester dealer and after hours, delivering gas to the oil rigs for Butane Equipment and Power. Selling the hills at the farm to the city of Powell to create the city landfill, Gordon became the landfill operator. He opened Gordon’s Outdoor Equipment in 1982, sold the farm in 1983 and moved to town. He loved that shop and his customers and stayed at it until he was 71.
Gordon had a strong faith in the Bible. His understanding of the Bible was gained with the help of his good friend, Elmer Ypparila. He was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1976. Despite health problems and setbacks, Gordon had a positive outlook on life due to his faith in the scriptures.
Gordon’s hobbies included camping and fishing at Beartooth Lake and other area lakes, Sunday lunch at the Sunset House and gardening, which he loved. He was always generous with his produce. He had a great talent with horseradish, which he grew and made into his own home-ground condiment. He was willing to give it to anyone who was tough enough to eat it. His homemade sauerkraut was ordered by the pounds and enjoyed by friends and family throughout the valley, except his wife. She hated that stuff! There is still some in the freezer. He had a dry sense of humor and took life without complaining, no matter what it threw at him. He was not one to worry over things. He would say, “If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t do anything about it, don’t waste your time and energy worrying about it.”
Gordon spent time in and out of the hospital and nursing home for the last 18 years. Always determined to prove the doctors wrong as to what he could do again, all with a sense of humor and an unstoppable determination. His faith remained strong until his death.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Amelia Geldreich and a grandson, Benjamin Telkamp.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 58 years, Verna Geldreich; sons Darwin (Diane) of Pickens, S.C., and Lyndon (Amber) of Powell; four daughters, Jolynne Rutherford of Kohlotus, Wash., Debbie (Joel) Telkamp, Brookings, S.D., Dvonna (Jim) Bissett ofReedsburg, Wis.; Brenda (David) Keister ofPowell; four brothers: Lloyd, Myron, Dale (Kareen) and Arlen (Becky); eight grandchildren: Antoinette, Julia, Nathan, Keith, Danica, Alisa, Kelly and Michael; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2702 Cougar Ave. in Cody. Memorials may be sent to Verna Geldreich, 1108 N. Gilbert St., Powell, WY 82435.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net or P.O. Box 807, Powell, WY 82435.