Wallace J. Gordon, 85, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, died unexpectedly September 3, 2010, while traveling in Nice, France. He was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1924, grew up during the Great Depression, served in the US Army in Europe during World War II, and graduated from Northwestern University in 1950. He spent the next 40 years in the advertising business, and then the 20 years after that writing and publishing ten books, each a memoir of an important part of his life.
In 1952 he married Louise Follet, of Elmhurst, Illinois, a teacher. They raised three sons and were together until her death in April, 1994. In 2000 he met and married Ann Huber, of Lancaster, and made his home here until his passing.
During his 40 years in the advertising business, Wally worked for a series of well-known advertising agencies, including McCann-Erickson, Howard Swink Advertising, Grant Advertising, and Knox Reeves Advertising. He wrote advertising, produced radio and television commercials, and had overall creative responsibility for many famous and not-so-famous brands, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Wheaties, Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Wendy’s, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Hamilton Beach, Dodge, Fiat, and Exxon. He won numerous local and national industry awards for his creative work and mentored many younger writers to great success.
In addition to writing, Wally loved books, reading constantly and widely, and he loved traveling, both revisiting the places he had first experienced during his Army years and encountering new cities and countries for the first time in his sixties, seventies, and eighties. But most of all, he loved his family, who were his greatest source of joy, and they in turn loved him dearly. He was admired by everyone who met him as one of the nicest, most likeable, and most interesting people they’d ever met. His cross words were rare and his cruel words nonexistent.
His survivors include his wife, Ann Gordon, of Lancaster; sons Matthew, of Scottsdale, Arizona, Michael, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, and Casey, of Athens, Georgia; stepdaughter Beth Colvin, of Lancaster; sisters Marie Mueller, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Cleo Loftsgordon, of Madison, Wisconsin; and ten grandchildren, five step grandchildren, and six step great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Harvey Watts.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, September 18, at the First Presbyterian Church, 140 East Orange Street, Lancaster, with the Rev. Dr. Randolph T. Riggs presiding. Friends may call at the Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home, 141 E. Orange St., Lancaster, PA on Friday, September 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. and at the church on Saturday from 9:00am until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.