A mountain of a man, John Ray Gordon, peacefully transitioned from this life on April 1, 2020, at his home, surrounded by friends and family singing him into his eternal reward. He lived a life so rich in love that encapsulating it in a few words is woefully inadequate. He was preceded to Glory by his Godly parents Jake and Christine Gordon. He is survived by a multitude of family and friends, some of which are as follows: his precious wife Karen Gordon; his loving siblings Shirley Simpson, Billie Ulmer, Dianne Harris (Frank), Scott Gordon (Julie); his beloved children Andrew Gordon, John Gordon, and Martha Newman (Kyle), his equally-loved step-children Kevin Bailey (Melissa), Kimberly Downing (Stuart), Kristi MacNeill (Bruce), Joshua Bailey (Lara); his adored fourteen grandchildren Neely & Jaxon Gordon, John Asher & Norah Jane Newman, Whitney, Claire, & Samantha Bailey, Alissa, Lucas, & Kaleb Downing, Trey, Hudson, Charlotte, & Archer MacNeill; and other friends and family too many to name.
All who knew John saw the abundant life he lived – abundance of love and laughter. He was regularly heard to declare that he was of all men blessed, and all with whom he came in contact were recipients of the overflow of blessing that his heart exuded. A native of Pocahontas, AR, John spent his life seeking any way possible to share the love of God that he knew so intimately with people all over the globe, from his much loved home of Fayette to the far reaches of the world (Ukraine and Jamaica just to name a few). He was a bright light in a dark world, sharing his smile and laugh and song in such a way as to become a man who seemingly everyone knew and respected and loved.
The heart of a servant was beautifully displayed in the heart of John in a multitude of ways. He served the world around him diligently and with excellence, most recently as Fayette County Administrator for near two decades. Prior to that, his work included independent life insurance agent, marketing for Fayette’s own Foodway, Inc, and Terra Resources. He was a beloved fixture with Fayette County High School athletics, being the football stadium announcer for several decades – he will forever be the “Voice of the Tigers” at football games. His beautiful singing voice was known far and wide for years of sharing it, possibly the greatest of which was as Scrooge in the local Christmas favorite “The Gospel According to Scrooge”. He faithfully served in various roles with three Fayette churches, the most recent of which was his cherished family at Crossview Community Church. Of all the diligent work he did throughout his life, his work with his fellow Christ-followers to the world was considered by him his highest professional honor and responsibility. His God-given ability to deeply connect with people made him a success in all he did, above all in his personal ministry.
John will be remembered and missed by thousands of people blessed to have known him over the years. He loved life and family, but was most excited about his life to come. From his initial liver cancer diagnosis, he had consistently said his heart was ready to go on Home wherever the Lord led his health. Scripture proclaims that “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. No man more closely exemplified this hope than John Ray Gordon.
For knowing him, we are of all people most blessed.
Honorary pallbearers are: Chris Champion, Ned Nichols, Randy Harris, John Underwood, James Knight, Terry Acuff, Steve Mickelson, Russ Taylor, Scott Porter, Charles Nolen, Kevin Killingsworth, Mike Freeman, William Oswalt, and Bruce Beede.
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