Strong selectman recalled warmly

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STRONG – Lumberman and Selectman Harry Gordon was remembered Friday for his generosity in helping those in need.

He was a man who spoke his mind and was known for his honesty, his strong work ethic and his generous heart, friends and family said.

Gordon, 70, has served as selectman since March and served as a firefighter years ago.

He had been in illhealth since the summer but always got out when he could, checking his trucks and doing other activities.

He had been out following his trucks around this week before he died Wednesday from complications of a massive heart attack, his daughter Leisa Adams said Friday.

“He was always concerned about everyone else,” Adams said. “He made people’s house payments for them” and did it without anyone but the homeowner knowing it.

People didn’t necessarily have to ask him for help, she said. He would see they needed help and offer it, she said.

He didn’t tolerate lazy people, she said, but if people were willing to help themselves, he was willing to help them.

“He would say ‘Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while.’ He just couldn’t do enough for people,” Adams said. “He loved making other people happy … He was a provider. He was the most unselfish person. He felt like he had to provide for everyone. The whole town was his family.”

“He was just wonderful to everybody,” Strong Deputy Treasurer Pam Kenniston said. “He was part of the town. Everybody knew him. Everybody he came in contact with, he touched them in one way or another.”

He was a lumberman since the late 1950s and never retired.

Gordon “started with a little old pulp truck loading it by hand with a birch hook and grew to two tractor-trailers with loaders; he’s had so many trucks,” his longtime companion, Gail Luce, said.

“He gave me 30 years of devotion. He gave my sons a chance to have a father when they lost their father in 1975 and he became their father.”

Luce described Gordon as being “dedicated, loyal, honest and competitive.”

“You’re never going to find a better person. He’d give you the shirt right off his back and he has,” Luce said.

He was dedicated to his family and was passionate about his sons’ vehicle racing. Son, Tracy Gordon raced all over the country, she said, and sons Scott and Glen Luce race at Oxford Plains Speedway.

“Harry was Harry,” said Niles Yeaton, a friend of Gordon’s. “Harry always did well for the town. He was always looking out for the town. I have the greatest respect for him. I didn’t always agree with him, but I always respected his opinion. Harry was a good man … He was a smart man.”

Gordon was very verbal and spoke his mind whether people agreed with him or not, Yeaton said.

“He could argue with someone — he loved to argue, but the next day they would still be friends,” his daughter said.

“We’re going to miss him,” said former Strong Selectman Perry Ellsworth. “If you needed an opinion you could always get one from Harry. But his heart was always in what was best for the town of Strong.”

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