In Memoriam: Remembering John Gordon Sr.

Published April 11, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Vice Chairman Emeritus of Gordon Food Service, John Gordon, Sr., who passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at home, following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

John joined Michigan-based Gordon Food Service in 1953, where he was involved in every aspect of the business, from sales, to purchasing, to operations. In 1965, his brother Paul Gordon became president and John was named the company’s secretary and treasurer.

In 1993, GFS began its expansion into Canada, successfully spanning the country from coast to coast over the next decade and connecting foodservice businesses across the country.

With his mantra of “Remember, our last name isn’t Gordon, it’s Service!”, John worked in close partnership with his brother Paul to transform their family’s small, regional grocery supplier into one of the leaders in foodservice distribution with more than 20,000 employees across Canada and the United States.

In 2004, John was recognized for his business achievements with the Ernst & Young West Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He also proudly served on the board of the Porter Hills Foundation and the Alma College President’s Advisory Council.

John is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nancy, son John, Jr. (Amy) and daughter Sue Rollo, seven grandchildren, his sister Lois (Bill) Lanning, and sisters-in-law Beth and Dottie Gordon, Pam Schmidt, and Marge McGehee.

“For more than six decades, John Gordon Sr.’s guiding hand helped push us to be our very best while also showing that a great company is defined by both results and relationships. He will be truly missed by the entire organization.”

Steve Kampstra, President, Gordon Food Service – Canada

“The foodservice industry has lost a great leader in John Gordon Sr. He was passionately committed to the needs of both customers and employees and was instrumental in growing foodservice distribution throughout Canada. Our condolences to the Gordon and GFS family.”

Shanna Munro, President and CEO, Restaurants Canada

Kartikey Bhargava

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