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Levine Chapels

OBITUARY

Noah Gordon

Novelist Noah Gordon, 95, died Monday, November 22, at his Dedham, Massachusetts, home.

Noah’s first book, The Rabbi, was a runaway New York Times best-seller, and his fifth book, Shaman, won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for distinguished American historical fiction. He was known for exhaustive research, his favorite part of the writing process. Noah’s novels achieved outstanding international success and have been enjoyed by millions of readers in 34 languages. He was particularly revered in Spain and Germany, where his novels were perpetual bestsellers and where he earned a number of literary prizes. His best-known novel, The Physician, is considered a modern classic and has been adapted as a motion picture and, in Spain, as a prize-winning musical.

Son of Robert and Rose (Melnikoff) Gordon, Noah was born November 11, 1926, in Worcester, Massachusetts. After army service, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a Master of Arts degree in creative writing, both at Boston University. He worked in New York as an assistant editor at the Avon Publishing Company before entering the newspaper business, first as a reporter for the Worcester Telegram and then as science editor for the Boston Herald. During his tenure as a journalist, he interviewed such notable figures as John F. Kennedy, Anna Freud, Fidel Castro, and Timothy Leary. For 16 years, he also published the professional medical journals Psychiatric Opinion and The Journal of Human Stress.

Noah leaves his beloved wife of 70 years, Lorraine (Seay) Gordon, his cherished children, Lise Gordon of Watertown and her former husband, Roger Weiss of Belmont; Jamie Beth Gordon of Chestnut Hill; and Michael Seay Gordon and his wife, Maria Palma Castillon, of Barcelona, Spain, as well as his grandchildren, Caleb Weiss, Emma Weiss, Sara Gordon Palma, and Enric Gordon Palma. He also leaves treasured nieces and nephews. Noah was predeceased by his brother, Malcolm Gordon, and his sister, Dorothy Zarr, and by his life-long best friends, Charlie Ritz, Eddie Plotkin, and Irving Cooper.

After raising their children in Framingham, in 1979 Noah and Lorraine moved to the small town of Ashfield, in the hills of western Massachusetts. The town had no physician, and Noah took classes to become an emergency medical technician, joining the small group of dedicated volunteer EMTs who covered the town ambulance. He also was chairperson of the Ashfield Library Board, which won two construction grants and oversaw a seamless addition to the town’s Belding Memorial Library. In 1996 the Gordons moved to Brookline, and in June of 2010 they became residents of the NewBridge-on-the-Charles retirement community in Dedham, where they founded the NewBridge Library and served as its co-directors for five years.

Noah was a voracious reader and could devour a book in a single sitting. He wrote beautiful poetry, usually to celebrate Lorraine’s birthday or some other family occasion. He loved nature. When living in Ashfield, he could often be found walking the wooded trails or fishing the river behind his house. He enjoyed arguing about politics, watching the Red Sox, puttering in his garden, playing tennis, and producing bad puns. Most of all, he loved being with his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Noah’s memory to Hebrew SeniorLife (designated for the Newbridge Library) or to the charity of your choice.

Services

  • Funeral service will be private

Memories

Noah Gordon

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Minou Palandjian

November 30, 2021

Dear Lisa, Caleb and Emma
Heartfelt condolences and love to you and your family
So enjoyed losing myself in your fathers books- and looked forward to the next ones…
Much love
Minou

Irma Napoleon

November 29, 2021

Dear Lorraine

We are so sorry to hear of Noah’s passing.

He was one of the nicest man we ever knew .

I am so sorry we have lost contact over these past years. We always thought of him as an exceptionally kind and compassionate person.

Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time.

Love Irma & Nancy Napoleon

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY