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IN MEMORIAM: Paul Gordon, Distribution Chairman and Industry Leader



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Paul Gordon of Gordon Food Service accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Foodservice Distributors Association in 2006.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Dorothy, and siblings: Phil (Beth), John (Nancy) and Lois (Bill) Lanning. Paul is also survived by sons Dan (Magee) and Jim (Bonnie), and daughters Connie (Terry) Metzger and Joyce (Ron) Williams, 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grand children.

Paul Gordon influenced the lives of so many with his warmth, humbleness and generosity. While he dedicated his career to the food service industry and is best known for his business achievements, the impact Paul had on others goes far beyond the food service business. His commitment to integrity and his genuine concern for each customer, supplier, employee and their families established a company culture that still defines Gordon Food Service today. He left a strong spiritual heritage that will light the path for generations to follow as his legacy encompasses strong relationships, faith in a loving God, and a focus on serving others.

Born July 13, 1923, in Grand Rapids, MI, Gordon was the first son of Ben and Ruth Gordon. Some of his earliest childhood memories were those of his father Ben, struggling through the very difficult times of the Great Depression. His father was working for his father-in-law, Isaac, in the family grocery wholesaling business and growing up during these tough times taught young Paul the true meaning of thrift, the importance of values, the power of faith, and the priority of giving.

Gordon served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was assigned to the destroyer USS Fred T. Berry and served as a gunnery officer, achieving the rank of lieutenant. Upon discharge from the Navy, he attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1948 with a degree in business.

After graduation, at the request of his father, Gordon joined the newly reorganized Gordon Food Service. On July 17 of that same year, he married Dorothy

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