Monday, November 20, 2006

Dorothea R. Gordon, 74, Community Leader, Artist

Dorothea Edythe Rosenthal Gordon created beauty through china painting and embroidery and in her garden.

Her contributions endowed a Torah and helped develop the library at Temple Society of Concord.

She was associated with Penfield Manufacturing Co., the family wholesale furniture business, many years.

Mrs. Gordon died today at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital after an illness of a few months. She was 74 and lived at 106 Fayette Circle, Fayetteville, and Penwood on South Shore Road on Fourth Lake, near Old Forge.

"She was very creative. Whatever she did - china painting, embroidery, volunteering, the garden club - she was always creating beautiful things for people," her daughter, Margery Burstein, said today.

"Her home had a feeling of appreciation for life, especially for the arts. She definitely stopped to smell the roses."

Mrs. Gordon was a member of Temple Society of Concord for more than 50 years. She was president of its Sisterhood, active in its Seniors Group and played with the Temple Bridge Club.

"I have lost a friend who helped welcome me to Temple Concord as soon as I arrived in Syracuse three years ago," Rabbi Shelly Ezring said today. "She responded to one of my first dreams for the congregation by donating a Torah scroll in memory of her beloved husband, Albert, so the congregation would have a new and perfectly proper Torah to use in the synagogue. She shared her feelings and her friendship with the congregation, with the community and with me personally. Along with her family, I mourn her loss deeply."

Mrs. Gordon was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Charles H. and Rose Marie Lambie Rosenthal. Her father was trained as a rabbi but went into the tobacco business; her mother was a concert pianist.

Mrs. Gordon graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1940, where she was a member of Theta Sigma Phi and Alpha Epsilon Phi.She married Albert Gordon in October 1940 and lived the rest of her life in the Syracuse area. He was a founding trustee of Onondaga Community College, active in Republican politics, chairman of the Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital board and first chairman of the Onondaga County Youth Board. After his death in 1967, Mrs. Gordon helped establish a scholarship fund at OCC in his memory. The college student center bears his name.

Mrs. Gordon, a 40-year volunteer at Fayetteville Free Library, was honored in 1991 by the library as its longest serving volunteer. She also volunteered many years at the former Cerebral Palsy Center, now Enable.She was a member and treasurer of Garden Gate Garden Club and parliamentarian of the Embroidery Guild. She studied through the Professional Porcelain Artists Association and was active in the Cherry Valley China Painters and New York State China Painting. She won many awards for her artistry.

Mrs. Gordon was widely traveled. In recent years she visited Israel, Egypt, Australia, Hawaii, Europe and China.

She was a member of Lafayette Country Club and its bridge group, the Corinthian Club, Cavalry Club, National Council of Jewish Women and Women's American ORT.

Surviving are a son, Charles L. of Cazenovia, president of Penfield Manufacturing Co.; a daughter, Margery Gordon Burstein of Fayetteville, education director of Epstein School of Jewish Studies; and four grandchildren, Jenny Rebecca Gordon and Mark Albert, Florence Beth and Robert Gordon Burstein; and nieces and nephews.

Services are at 2 p.m. Friday at Temple Society of Concord. Burial is in Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse.Calling hours are 12:30 to 2 p.m. Friday at the temple, 910 Madison St., Syracuse. After the funeral, family and friends will gather at the home of her daughter, 106 Fayette Circle.Contributions may be made to Albert Gordon Torah Fund of Temple Society of Concord; Rabbi Epstein School, 450 Kimber Road, DeWitt; or Auxiliary of the Jewish Home of Central New York.

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