Philip J. Gordon


Philip J. Gordon, 94, of Prospect Avenue, Plattsburgh, passed away on July 4, 2019, at CVPH with his loving daughters by his side. Phil was born in Plattsburgh on July 1, 1925, to Myron J. Gordon Sr. and Bertha (Mendelsohn) Gordon. He was extremely proud of his family heritage, and loved sharing the emigration stories of his maternal great-grandparents from Germany in 1858, and his paternal grandparents from Russia in 1880. He shared with great pride that his maternal great-grandparents were one of the first Jewish families to settle in this city.
During the early war years of 1942-1943, he took pilot training locally and joined the Civil Air Patrol, often flying with the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (St. Hubert's, Quebec). On Sept. 7, 1942, Phil was involved in a single engine aircraft crash in the Chateauguay Lake Narrows. His injuries did not deter his plans to join the US Army Air Force (USAAF), which he did prior to his 18th birthday. He was a graduate of PHS, class of 1943, and upon graduation immediately enlisted in the USAAF. He served three years, first as an Aviation Flight Cadet and later as an official ground/aerial photographer for the 485th Bomb Group. Upon his honorable discharge from service in 1946, he joined the family businesses, working closely with his father operating Gordon's Drug Store and Gordon's Boot Shop.
He married the love of his life, Shirley L. Jessey of Plattsburgh on June 18, 1950. He often shared the story of how he fell in love with her the minute he saw her. Together they owned and operated several businesses and shared a love of traveling.
As a young businessman, Phil and his partner David Morris opened the Orange Julep Drive-in Restaurant in 1957, and owned several apartment buildings around the city. In 1964, he and Shirley purchased the Bayside Motel, operating the business with their partner Charles Lord.
Phil was an active member of his community, and was a charter member of the Optimist Club, a former member of the Masonic Lodge and American Legion, and a lifetime member of the Plattsburgh Elks Lodge 621, the Clinton County Historical Association, and the Temple Beth Israel. He was active in law enforcement with the NYS Conservation Department, working closely with Robert Jarvis for 22 years. Additionally, he and James O'Connor founded the Plattsburgh City Auxiliary Police, where he served as a Captain.
Phil and Shirley operated a thriving antiques business for over 40 years, specializing in high quality fine art, jewelry, silver, and paintings. Their reputation as knowledgeable and reliable dealers was recognized throughout the country and abroad. He was an avid researcher and collector of local historical artifacts, and donated many items to the CCHA. He was actively involved in all aspects of the museum, including helping locate a permanent location for it on the old Air Force Base. As a museum board member, he helped identify, evaluate, and photographically record a large part of their historical collection. Phil was an acknowledged specialist and collector of Redford Glass, and enjoyed sharing that knowledge with other collectors.
Phil is survived by his two daughters, Lynn LaClair (Ray), Julie Ross, former son-in-law Michael Ross (Jerri), and three grandchildren, Gordon Lafountain (Maria Rafalko), Leigh Ross, and Evan Ross (Sarah Jones), two sisters-in law, Helen Jessey and Mary Matteson, several nieces and nephews and many special friends. He was predeceased by his wife Shirley, his parents, his sister Barbara (Gordon) Nolland, and two brothers, Paul Gordon and M. Jay Gordon.
Phil was especially grateful for the care he received from Dr. Richard Webber and the staff of Lake City Primary Care.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in his memory be made to Temple Beth Israel, 1 Bowman Lane, 12901, or Hospice of The North Country, 358 Tom Miller Road, 12901.
Calling hours will be on Thursday, July 11, 2019. from 3 to 6 p.m. A funeral service will be Friday, July 12, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. in the Brown Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be private in Beth Israel Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, (518)-561-3980. Online condolences may be offered at
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Published on July 8, 2019
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3 posts

Lynne Holt Simmons
Jul 09, 2019
Me. Gordon was a neighbor, very nice man who will be missed. My deepest sympathies for the family.
Jul 06, 2019
Philip was a good and honorable man. Always to the point
in discussions, intelligent, honest and caring for the people of Plattsburgh. My deepest condolences for the family.
Jul 06, 2019