Garner Funeral Service

10 Lawrence Ave, Potsdam, NY


George H. Gordon

October 5, 1956October 1, 2019
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Funeral services for George H. Gordon, 62, of Potsdam will be held at 11:00am on Monday, October 7, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Potsdam, NY with Rev. Holly Haile Thompson officiating. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. George passed away Tuesday evening (October 1, 2019) at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY with loving family by his side.

George leaves behind his wife of over 23 years, Lisa (Carter) Gordon of Potsdam, sons Derek and Jack Gordon, both of Potsdam, two grandchildren Peyson and Paxton Gordon, and numerous much-loved cousins, friends, and colleagues.

Mr. Gordon was born October 5, 1956 in Utica, a son of the late Phillip and Frances (Jones) Mittelstaedt. He graduated from Potsdam High School and Canton ATC and earned Bachelor and Master degrees from Potsdam State. He spent his career of over 26 years as a high school Social Studies teacher, at Gouverneur Central, while also pursuing his passion for coaching.

He began coaching younger students in his teenage years and continued on to coach a variety of sports teams in the area. As a college student, he had the privilege of working as a junior assistant for Jerry Welsh at SUNY Potsdam and was honored to be part of their program when they won two national championships and travelled to France. Over his 45 year participation in local sports, he coached baseball, JV football, and girls’ varsity basketball for the Potsdam School District, in addition to boys’ basketball, football, and track for Gouverneur Central. His boys’ basketball teams were quite successful, winning several section 10 championships, and progressing in the state playoffs. He was also recognized several times by his coaching peers in section X with Coach of the Year award. In recent years he had been an assistant coach for the boys’ basketball program for Canton Central and was very proud of being part of their 2017 trip to Binghamton for the State Final Four tournament. In addition, he looked forward to being an active part of Section X basketball playoffs every year. He was an avid sports fan; his favorite professional teams were the NY Knicks, Minnesota Vikings, Notre Dame football, Syracuse University basketball and Clarkson hockey. He enjoyed scouting at local sports games, and playing golf with his friends and sons. Other hobbies included travelling, particularly to the seashore in Maine and Holden Beach, North Carolina, with his family. He loved going for scenic drives, especially in autumn, and truly appreciated the natural beauty of the North Country and Adirondacks. He looked forward to time watching sports with his sons, listening to NPR and watching movies with his wife, and relaxing on the front porch while reading, especially biographies by David McCullough.

George was a loving and devoted husband and father and a loyal friend. He was a forthright, kind and generous man and “old school” coach, who made a significant, formative effect on countless students and athletes. He had a sense of humor and was known for his one-liners. Memorial Donations in his memory can be made to the George Gordon Memorial Scholarship; c/o Lisa Gordon; 99 State Street; Canton, NY 13617. Condolences, thoughts, and fond memories can be shared online at www.garnerfh.com.


  • George Gordon Memorial Scholarship


  • Calling Hours Sunday, October 6, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, October 7, 2019


George H. Gordon

have a memory or condolence to add?

Curt Wood

October 8, 2019

Coach Gordon, Commissioner of the NCAA division of basketball camps every summer. Commissioner Gordon! We had many battles on and off the court as I was young and thought I knew it all. You helped shape my career, helped me learn to listen to those who have been there done that. You ALWAYS had that bark, that just made everyone stand at attention, but that hug that brought everyone back to reality. Your smile and kind words in Massena a few short weeks ago, will always be in my memory. We did work hard, played harder, and had fun along the way. Rest easy big fella! The north country sports scene lost a legend!

Jim McCargar

October 8, 2019

Sent to Coach Gordon on December 26, 2014:

George, I promised you some time ago after Con Elliott passed away, to let you know how your coaching impacted and shaped my life. I would rank you at the top of all coaches I had growing up. You moved easily between intense, funny and yes, loving (please take that in the spirit in which it's intended...great teachers and coaches love their students and players). Two memories are forever in my memory. The first was your voice coming from the sidelines during the JV game when we beat An unbeaten and unscored upon Tupperware Lake team. I threw a key block on the outside to spring the running back and heard "Nice block Jim McCargar!" God, all these years later and I still remember that play. The second memory was from my senior year and the only year I played varsity football. I wasn't getting playing time and frustrated, went to your office and asked why. Your response was immediate and clear; I needed to work on my blocking. I worked after practice to get better...I think you may have even stayed one or twice to work with me. I finally got the chance to play against Massena that year and played at tight end for the rest of the season. That experience reinforced my parents message that hard work pays off. That axiom still serves me to this day. Thanks coach, for the incredible impact you had in my life. Lives change in a moment. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

Barbara Hays-Shampine

October 7, 2019

Mr. Gordon you were a great mentor throughout my high school years. It was always fun in your classroom regardless of what we were doing. I respected your love of sports as I was an athlete myself in school and after I graduated. We were your 1st class that you got to be the Advisor of when your came to Gouverneur, Class of 1989. Remember once a Wildcat always a Wildcat!!!!!! Love ya Coach.

Gina Mittiga Allee

October 6, 2019

Rest In Peace my old friend. We shared many years of friendship and Love. My Deepest Condolences to your family and friends. Hopefully, you’ve found Heaven’s Basketball Court and you’re coaching the angels. God’s Speed

Keith R

October 5, 2019

I was reading the memories and watched the video. I didn't know George as an adult, however, I did coach him when he was in high school. I recall many conversations about George with Hal and JB. The video brought back many memories of coaching in Potsdam, which now seems like a lifetime ago. One of those memories was the spring trips to Myrtle Beach with some of the coaches/teachers and families. It looks like Coach Gordon carried on the beach tradition. It appears George did quite well as a human being, although it took me awhile to get his sense of humor when he was a young player and I a young coach.

Tom Caruso

October 4, 2019

My deepest sympathies to Lisa, Jack and Derek on the passing of your husband/father.
George was a friend, colleague and teammate of mine for many years. The friendship began in 1977 when I selected George to be my line coach for the Potsdam varsity football team. George was a college student at the time and had no experience coaching at this level. What I saw in George was passion for the game and passion for coaching. He was easy to get along with and the players really admired him. I believe they saw the same good traits that coach Charlebois and I did. His work ethic was second to none.
George, I will miss your never ending smile, your kindness and great sense of humor. You will be missed by your family, your friends and also by the coaching community you were so devoted to.
Rest In Peace my friend,
Coach Caruso

Christopher Prue

October 4, 2019

Lisa and Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Though I did not know George personally, he definitely gave many hours to our youth, both on and off the court. God speed.

Shawn Dack

October 4, 2019

It was always a privilege and honor to see and speak with Coach Gordon...his vast knowledge inspired many athletes and coaches, including myself...George always told you how it was, point blank...and you respected that...talking basketball, player skill levels, and the ins and outs of the game...
The Playoffs wont be the same without Coach...
I am praying for your family and for you, the good lord got a good in you for sure....GOD BLESS YOU GEORGE....God Bless you!!!

R. Shawn Martin

October 4, 2019

Coach Gordon, as I knew him, was a gentle man. I met him through coaching boys basketball. He always had good words, encouragement, and great advice. When I first started coaching Varsity at Salmon River, we struggled. Coach would always say " you have done great things and come a long way with the program, you should be proud, and keep up the good work. It was his way of showing how much he cared for Basketball in the north country, always willing to help. I always like his "old school" style and will miss his greetings at games. " Hey Coach, How are you doing?"
Safe journey to Coach Gordon, may he continue to watch over us.
thank you Coach.
Coach Martin - Salmon River Central

Erika Backus

October 4, 2019

On behalf of the Lisbon Athletic Department, please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers. George's dedication to athletes, teams and districts throughout the years never went unnoticed. It was a pleasure to work with him during the Section X basketball playoff seasons!