M ary Rita Gordon, 92, of Whitehall was called home to the Lord on January 8th, 2020 at The Pines Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation after a long illness surrounded by family.

Rita, which she preferred to be called, was born March 20th, 1927 in Brandon, Vt. She was raised on the family farm in Putnam Station, NY and only spoke French as a child. She was educated in Putnam and Ticonderoga schools and graduated in Ticonderoga Class of 1946. She is the daughter of the late Albert and Ida (Deslauriers) Forgette of Putnam Station, NY.

She is predeceased by her husband Joseph E. Gordon, who called her “Sugar”, sons Thomas and Daniel Gordon, grandson “TJ” Thomas Jr., her 4 brothers Rudolph (Putnam Station), John (Bayou La Batre, AL), Alcid/Florent (Ticonderoga), Roland/Joseph (Hague) and her sisters Colombe Dedrick and Fernande Drinkwine (both of Putnam Station), and Georgette Denn (Slingerlands).

Rita married Joseph E. Gordon “Joe Baby” February 27, 1949 in Whitehall at Notre Dame des Victoires (Our Lady of Hope) and was an active member for 70 years.

Surviving family members include: Joseph and Claire Gordon (Ganesvoort), Rosemary and Bruce Lebeau (Fort Pierce, FL and Whitehall), Andre and Evelyn Gordon (Whitehall), Martin and Dorothy Gordon (Queensbury), Doreen  Gordon, the wife of the late son Daniel (Whitehall), Francis and Patricia Gordon (North Granville), Christopher Sr. and Patricia Gordon (Whitehall) and sister-in-law Angeline Dedrick (Putnam Station). Mimi will be greatly missed by 15 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews.

Rita was employed at Champlain Spinner Silk Mill in Whitehall before becoming a devoted mother of eight children and raising her family. She later worked as a waitress at Duce’s Restaurant and the Sabo’s Village Diner for many years. Rita then cooked for the newly formed Meals On Wheels Program of Whitehall from 1974 until 1989.

In 1974 she was honored with the title of “Women of the Year” for her commitment to her community. She was president and member of the Saint Ann Society for seven years. She served as a member of the Parish Council and as a

Trustee for Notre Dame des Victoires (Our Lady of Hope) church. She also was a lector, Eucharistic minister, parish activity committee member, and, because of her musical talents, she was a standby organist.

Rita was a board member (Secretary) for Whitehall Skene Manor Preservation Inc. She was an active member of the Red Hat Society and secretary of the Senior Citizen Group of Whitehall.

Rita had many talents and one was music. She taught herself how to play the accordion and organ by ear. She could yodel, as well. Aside from her musical talent, she was known for her ability to cook and bake pies; most notably at the yearly Whitehall town-wide garage sale, the Boy Scouts and for multiple church functions such as bake sales, breakfasts, and barbecues.

For Rita, her family and faith were everything. She looked to Jesus in all that she did. She was a model of His word by following in His ways and encouraged others to look to the Lord to guide them. She was a loyal friend and willing to care for those in need.

Calling hours will be from 3pm to 7pm on Friday, January 10th, 2020 at Whitehall Athletic Club (The Armory), 62 Poultney Street, Whitehall. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11am Saturday, January 11th, 2020 at Our Lady of Hope Church Roman Catholic Church, 9 Wheeler Avenue, Whitehall. Rev. Michael Flannery will officiate the Mass concelebrated by Rev. Rendell Torres, Pastor.  A spring interment will be at the convenience of the family. A celebration of her life will follow the Mass at the Whitehall Athletic Club (The Armory), 62 Poultney Street, Whitehall.

In lieu of flowers, the Family has requested donations be made in memory of Mary Rita Gordon to: Our Lady Of Hope Church, 9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall, NY 12887, American Legion Post No. 83, 148 Main St., Whitehall, NY 12887, or Whitehall Lodge #1491 BPO Elks, 5 Elks Way, Whitehall, NY 12887.

The family would like to extend their deepest appreciation to the entire staff of The Pines Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Glens Falls Hospital for their care for Rita. Also, to Catherine Manuele for being a loyal and dedicated friend.

Arrangements are under the care of the Jillson Funeral Home Inc., 46 Williams Street, Whitehall, NY

Online condolences may be made at www.jillsonfuneralhome.com




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