Julian B. Gorden of Lisle, Illinois passed away peacefully at home on June 5, 2019, after a courageous battle with prostate cancer.
He was born in rural Nemaha County, Nebraska on November 13, 1935, to parents Genevieve (Allemond) and Byron Gorden, and grew up on a cattle farm in a house without running water or electricity. He attended country school and then Stella High School where he was a multi-sport athlete and met his future wife of over 60 years, Mary Louise Trussell. They married in 1955 in Stella.
For over 40 years he worked in trucking and transportation management and sales, with jobs taking him and his family from Omaha to Sioux City, Iowa, Milwaukee and eventually the Chicago area in 1972. Many of those years were spent with PIE (Pacific Intermountain Express) and ABF Freight Systems.
He was a loving father to his three children, David (Polly) Gorden of Indianapolis, Lori (Mike) Miller of Batavia, Illinois and Jeff (Connie) Gorden of Ingleside, Illinois. He was an active participant in their lives growing up – serving as a Scout leader, coaching baseball teams, teaching Sunday School, being a member of school Booster Clubs and sitting in the stands for countless athletic contests, musical performances, and other activities. In his eyes though, their most important accomplishments were providing him with six grandchildren which he adored, Carrie and Claire Gorden, Emily and Megan Miller, and Jack and Joey Gorden. He passionately followed every event in which they participated, and they were his pride and joy. They reciprocated his adoration.
Julian served the community as a member of the Lisle Park District Board and Board of SEASPAR (South East Association for Special Parks and Recreation). Among the variety of groups with which he volunteered, he was particularly dedicated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the People’s Resource Center and NEDSRA (Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association) where he was a scorekeeper for the Youth-at-Risk basketball league and an athlete buddy for Special Olympic track meets.
A longtime member of Downers Grove First United Methodist Church, he was a regular usher and volunteer. He participated in several church Mission Trips including to Alaska with son David to help build a log church.
For more than 40 years he and Mary Lou square danced with the Naper Squares. They also traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with an Alaska cruise, two European river cruises, and Florida beach vacations with their entire family for their 50th and 55th Anniversaries among their favorites.
Perpetually curious and always learning, he took several Elder Hostel (Road Scholar) trips and enjoyed reading and adult education courses, particularly on historical topics. He was also an avid sports fan and would rise and fall with the success or failures of the Cubs, Bears and many other teams he followed. A game of some kind was always on the TV.
He will be sorely missed by his loving family and many friends.
His life will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15, at 11:00 am with a service at Downers Grove First United Methodist Church. Visitation will precede at 9:00 am. Memorial gifts in Julian’s honor can be made to the church or a favorite charity.