Remembering ‘Mr. Gordon’

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: By Lora Finnegan Special to The News Messenger
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To volunteer means simply to help others.

Some folks roll up their sleeves to pitch in after a sudden emergency such as a flood or a winter snowstorm and go home when that job is done.

And then there are the helpers whose sleeves stay rolled up.


People such as the late David Gordon, who volunteered in many ways and in many roles to help Lincoln after this town was hard hit by an economic superstorm.

David J. Gordon (May 31, 1923 — Jan. 19, 2013) was a familiar sight around the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges. He served on the advisory board of the Lincoln Library and was a Schools’ volunteer, among other duties.

Memorable personalities such as David Gordon are woven into the fabric of small-town life. They keep an eye on what’s happening, keep our civic leaders on their toes and try to ensure the city stays on an even keel.

A recent remembrance said, in part, “This generous and friendly spirit will be sorely missed by his wife, Betty.”

And we found so many others, including a few who wanted to offer thoughts about David.

“I didn’t know Dave very well but I enjoyed the way he simply could not be intimidated, spoke his mind so articulately and was always ready with his energetic and wonderful sense of humor.”—Jane Tahti

“As a member of the Lincoln Library Advisory Board and thus, a member of the 15-member Library Advisory Council, Dave Gordon’s tenacity and interest in library proceedings kept issues alive. He held his foot in the door, so to speak.

“Not only was he interested in library issues, he adopted the issues of the city and faithfully attended City Council meetings where he spoke often during the time the council heard from citizens wanting to address the council. He would deliver to the council his concerns and giving advice along with praise.”—Shirley Russell

“My husband once told David Gordon that I was his biggest fan and it was true. I remember the first time I noticed Mr. Gordon. He was sitting in a front row at a City Council meeting writing notes for what was to be his address to the council. In his address, he commented that his wife wouldn’t come for she felt he would probably say something foolish. (Yet nothing he ever said was foolish). For many months, at every City Council meeting, he would report on the library as a member of the Library Advisory Board, always addressing the council as “You good men.” Additionally he (and his wife, Betty) worked as volunteers at Twelve Bridges Library during some very dark days in the funding of Twelve Bridges Library.

He was also a member of the fiscal sustainability committee working with Mike Miller on ‘Core Principles.’  Mike would introduce David as, ‘Mr. Gordon” reflecting on his great respect for David. Over the weeks and months as a very active participant, David would always arrive with that twinkle in his eye and his love for the ‘big words’.   

David was a gift from God, a true gentleman, who used his great wisdom to encourage the rest of us. He brought out the good in all of us, setting an example of tirelessly striving, contributing and cajoling us to do our best.  He set the bar of excellence in everything he did. We will all miss this special man.” — Nancy Whitaker

It was typical of the quiet grace of the Gordon family that they asked that memorial donations in David Gordon’s name be made to the Friends of the Lincoln Library.

We’ll miss you, ‘Mr. Gordon.’


At Twelve Bridges Library

Saturday: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a free Family Movie Night with “Hotel Transylvania.”


This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 1177, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404, or Lora Finnegan is Friends of the Lincoln Library President.