Gordon Alvin Isachsen
October 17, 1947 – June 14, 2021
On Monday, June 14, 2021, Gordon Isachsen, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at age 73.
Gordon was born on October 17, 1947, in Montana to Harold and Althea Isachsen. Before graduating from Concordia College, he enrolled in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He served our country as a fighter pilot in the Vietnam war, where he flew the Cessna O-2 Skymaster over the trails of Laos. He then taught Airmanship, Professional Ethics, and Psychology at the Air Force Academy. After his career in the military, he flew Gulfstream jets for the Atlantic Richfield Company and became the Chief Pilot for Avjet Corporation and Jet Aviation. His professional excellence garnered countless accolades. The aviation industry adored Gordon for his steadfast loyalty and lighthearted sense of humor.
In addition to his career, Gordon was devoted to his family. He traveled the world with his beloved wife, rooted for the Dodgers with his son, and attended church with his daughter. Although he settled in California, he always nurtured his ties to family in Minnesota and Texas.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Althea, and his sister, Julie. He is survived by his wife Margaret, their two children, Andra and Erik, his brothers, Keith, Russ, and Nolan, his sister Jeanne, and numerous nieces and nephews. A private family service will be held at a later date in Texas.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Gordon Alvin Isachsen
July 9, 2021
Gordon and I go back to early 1980 when we were newly-hired pilots in the ARCO aviation department. At the time we were the only former Air Force pilots there so we formed an immediate bond. We throw the expression “a gentleman and a scholar” around loosely, but as I got to know Gordon better I realized he was a true gentleman and a scholar. Besides being a great guy to be on the road with, he was an excellent and extremely knowledgeable pilot, and always good for a new vocabulary word or a conversation on about any topic we could think of. I always looked forward to flying with him, and as we graduated to international flying we had some great adventures together. When ARCO closed its doors in 1999 we went off to different jobs but kept in touch, and 10 years later Gordon was instrumental in getting me a job at the company he worked for, Avjet. There we flew together infrequently, but it was always a pleasure when we did. When he retired I was glad to see him finally having the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of his years of hard and dedicated work, but his retirement was all too short. He led a life well-lived, and will be sorely missed by all.
July 1, 2021
Our deepest sympathies and prayers to you Margaret, Andra and Erik and cousins Jeanne ,Russ, Keith and Nolan.
May God Be with You All
philip schweigert, cousin
June 27, 2021
To The Isachsen family,
I met Gordon late in 2017 while interviewing for a job at AV Jet. He immediately put me at ease and related to me as one human being would to another, not as Chief Pilot to subordinate.
He always had an answer for any question I had while flying the line, and I had some crazy questions! I never felt as though Gordon was my boss, he was definitely more like a friend and I will miss him.
He was an amazing pilot and a genuine person. I am truly sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace.
June 24, 2021
Jackye and I were so deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing. Our heartfelt condolences go out to you, Andra, and Erik.
I first met Gordon in the Air Force where he was an Instructor Pilot in my class during initial training. As often happens in aviation, our paths crossed again at ARCO. For a period there, Gordon and I were famous (or silly) for volunteering to take on some high profile international assignments. We were a great team, and when those trips turned into adventures, as they often did, I was grateful to be sharing them with Gordon. Challenges such as trying to fix broken airplanes in Riga, Latvia (remember, Hollywood?) or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were balanced with rewards such as having dinner in Versailles (seated on either side of President Nixon) or attending a ballet at the Bolshoi. Through it all, Gordon's companionship made it all the more notable. His professionalism, knowledge, wit, and wisdom contributed to making those events not only achievable, but enjoyable. My fondest memories of Gordon will always be those times of valued friendship. God Speed, Gordon!
June 21, 2021
Rich and I were lucky enough to have been neighbors of Margaret and Gordie during the 1980s in Denver. They were such gracious hosts who always welcomed us into their beautifully decorated home for many holiday meals complete with champagne , delicious food, and great conversations both serious and silly. An elegant Easter blizzard dinner was a special holiday memory . Gordie had such a wonderful attitude and such a sparkling sense of humor . He was such a decent and dear man . Our thoughts and prayers go out to Margaret, Andra, and Erik at this difficult time. Gordie will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have known him.
John J Glynn
June 21, 2021
21 June 2021
To the Isachsen family,
My families sincere condolences to the passing of an old friend, aviator, proud veteran and mentor.
Our friendship reverts back to 1987 when I moved to Dallas and joined Atlantic Richfield's flight operations.
From the time I met Gordon he was distinguished, professional, great sense of humor, well dressed pilot. and balanced his life both professionally and personally.
It seemed everyone @ ARCO had nicknames and Gordon was the first to give me a nick name of "Hollywood."
Over the years we flew to some of the most remote / isolated places in the world and made the best of the situation through conversation, jokes, war stories, sightseeing and sharing unusual evening dinners (as Dan O'Neal expressed) during our travels.
The most memorable memory (of many) trips was when we were assigned to fly former President Nixon and his entourage to a plethora of cities throughout Russia. Not only did we purchase Ushhanka's in Moscow, maintenance issues in Alma Ata to handing out Marlboro cigarettes (to get things done) and eating McDonalds while in Moscow. We concluded our trip with a Presidential motorcade to Versailles for an evening out with former President Nixon and his guests. The stories were every so memorable. An evening to REMEMBER!
You will be well missed Gordon.
John J Glynn (Hollywood)
June 20, 2021
I first met Gordon when we began flying together in 1980 and had our last flight together in 1998. He was one of those rare men who combined talent, professional excellence and moral character, and he was one of the closest friends I have ever had. He had a razor sharp wit and a wide knowledge of subjects other than aviation, which made him the perfect traveling companion. We shared may stories over wide oceans in the black of night, walked the streets of the great cities of Europe as well as places no one ever heard of, like the time we shared a meal of goat meat in a dingy restaurant in the Sahara desert. He was wise and funny and never failed to tell me “just how it is” when I was wrong. He touched my life in more ways than I can begin to relate in such a short space. I treasured his friendship and I will miss him greatly.
June 19, 2021
Gordon and I worked together many years, we were both Viet Nam Vets and shared many stories. We would call
And talk frequently. Will miss him more than I can say. Fly high my friend. Sirk
June 19, 2021
I’ve cut Gordon’s hair every two weeks (weather he needed it or not) for over 10 years
I’ll miss our Saturday morning chats while I cut his hair...
Loving devoted husband and father, such a great man, and will be missed.
Michael & May Simonds
June 19, 2021
Margaret, Andra and Erik,
I've known Gordon since those early days at ARCO in Dallas. We shared many good trips together and always felt we were part of the ARCO family, no matter where our paths led. Gordon was a SOLID aviator, manager and mentor, and gentleman, but most of all, a faithful friend. Margaret, May and I are so glad we were able to visit with you and Gordon recently after we all got the Covid vaccinations and before we moved out of CA. His memory will be cherished and his influence will endure, hopefully helping you find strength and solace during this most difficult time - and beyond. He will be missed!
Mike & May Simonds
June 19, 2021
To The Isachsen Family:
I am so sorry for your loss.
I knew Gordon from our flying days at Arco Aviation. As a bright, energetic person, and a skilled and dedicated pilot; he added much to the flight department.
My memory is filled with many flights and travel to all parts of the world; a cherished time.
I pray that you all find peace and comfort during this time.
June 19, 2021
Greg and I are so saddened to hear about Gordon. Greg reminisced over the flying days at ARCO with Gordon and I remembered your home in Calabasas Hills where we were always offered champagne, not wine! Sweet, sweet memories because of your family. This heartache is huge and we pray for a peace and comfort for all of you.
All our love,
Dakan and Greg
June 18, 2021
My heart is broken for GORDY’S family and friends. He was just the most contagious personality…a dynamic personality is so hard to say goodbye to. Always treated me in a very special way. My heart breaks for Miss Margaret and Miss Andra and sweet Erik. You will all have to fill in the hole that Gordy left for each of you. Love love love and deep condolences…our lord & savior will provide.
June 18, 2021
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Gordy and Margaret to come visit. Sometimes Gordy would have a turtle in his Porsche, I think it was red, the car not the turtle :-)
Or better yet, we would go visit them and they would have a family of birds living on their back porch and a big ravine in the back for exploring.
Whenever I think of those days I smile.
June 17, 2021
Gordon and I were cousins, born one month apart and raised not far from each other in the Midwest. I'm so very sorry to hear of his passing. My husband and I send heartfelt condolences from New York to Margaret and their children in California.