×

Oak Lawn Funeral Home

619 New Warrington Road, Pensacola, FL

OBITUARY

Gordon James Dey, Cdr., USN (Ret)

June 2, 1928July 29, 2020

On July 29, 2020, Gordon J. Dey, Commander, USN Ret., took his last earthly flight, seeking his beautiful bride of over 60 years. He loved his country and the military; he served with honor and distinction for over 21 years, receiving various medals for his valor and efforts to save lives both in Vietnam and at sea. Born in Manchester, NH on June 2, 1928, his family located to Bristol Ferry, RI when he was quite young. There he attended public schools in Newport, made many friends and had quite an adventurous youth. In later years he would share some of his escapades with his five children, leaving them to marvel that he ever lived long enough to even have children. He was an ace mechanic, working closely with his dad on their farm in Bristol Ferry. He started his own lawn mower business, cannibalizing various machine parts to build some customized mowers that suited the rocky hillsides of the area. They would be the envy of John Deere fans today. Gordon loved sailing and won several competitions in Newport Bay. He was also fascinated with flying and started a long career of designing and building model airplanes at a very young age. The love of planes led him to sign up for the Navy ROTC program while pursuing an engineering degree at the University of Rhode Island. Once he got a chance to fly, he never stopped. He met the love of his life, Lucille Cashman on a blind date at URI. They married in December 1952 while Gordon was undergoing pre-flight training at NAS Pensacola. He had his first solo flight in an SNJ at Whiting Field after six successful landings on an aircraft carrier. He made it a point to see that plane when he visited the Naval Air Museum. While he had planned to serve his time in the Navy and then become a commercial pilot, he found that life as a Naval officer suited him. With Lucille by his side, the Navy was where he wanted to be. They started a family, which grew to five kids. Moving them, his wife, widowed mother, and occasionally a pet cat, he packed them into a station wagon and drove from coast to coast and up and down the Atlantic seaboard to each new duty station. All along those routes, he and Lucille showed their children the natural wonders and amazing diversity that makes America special. During one stint in Pensacola in 1957, he built a cabin cruiser, which gave the family endless hours of family activities on the water from Rhode Island to Key West, Pensacola, and back again. Gordon had many impressive duty stations, flying over the north Atlantic hunting Soviet subs in the cold dark of night in the 1950s, participating in the blockade during the Cuban missile crisis, and serving on the admiral’s staff for Navy Carrier Division 16. His greatest pride was serving with the Seawolves, an elite Navy unit formed to protect American forces fighting in the Mekong Delta and its tributaries. His valiant efforts as a Huey pilot and dedicated maintenance officer for the HAL 3 unit in Vung Tau earned him several medals and commendations. He completed his career as the director of training at Naval Aviation Schools Command. He retired in 1974 with over 4,600 hours of logged flight time. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Helen Dey and wife Lucille. He was surrounded by loving family and his dedicated caregiver of five years, Ms. Ella Sotan, at his home when he passed. He leaves behind three sons, two daughters, their wonderful spouses, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren that will always love him. To help curb the COVID outbreak the family will hold a private service at Oak Lawn Funeral Home followed by interment at Barrancas National Cemetery on August 6th, 2020. Spread your wings, Commander, you are free to fly the skies once more.

  • FAMILY

  • James Dey, Father (deceased)
  • Helen Dey, Mother (deceased)
  • Lucille Dey, Wife (deceased)
  • He leaves behind three sons, two daughters, their wonderful spouses, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren that will always love him.

Learn more about the Dey, name

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, August 6, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, August 6, 2020

Memories

Gordon James Dey, Cdr., USN (Ret)

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Learn more about the Dey, name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM