Remember and Celebrate

November 8, 2014

The most wasted of days is the one without laughter!

Remembering my brother,
Gordon Eugene Longenecker,
on the 9th anniversary
of his death at age 49.

Nephew Scott and his wife, Jill and Nephew Todd laughing about what was probably one of those “Gordonion” moments, things that could only happen to or be said by or done by Gordon

 Nov. 6th I wrote about The Gift of Fall in a Season of Grief.
Today I continue the remembering with smiles.  

It’s been  nine years since losing him and it seems like a good time to remember the Gordon we all loved and who drove all of us slightly crazy at some time or another.

Over 500 people attended the memorial service  to  remember and honor their friend.  The photos in this post were taken the day before his memorial service as we made a list that would be the basis for what Galen would  share the the Memorial service as a family tribute.

 

gordon stories
As we gathered with our families, Galen asked us to think of the words that come to mind as we thought about Gordon and these are some of the words we thought of!

*  Stitches, of the Emergency Room type.   (LOTS of them)

*  Comfortable with people and engaged easily with them.  (He never met a stranger)

*  Interested in everything and had an opinion about it all.

*  Very verbal and gregarious with a wacky sense of humor

*  Loyal –   Lois Jones, his Mother-in-law elaborates:    “He’d see things that needed fixing and  would do them for me, but often got the wrong thing from the store first, before he actually got the right thing and fixed it!”

*  When he needed to figure out a job, he’d lay on the couch with a pad of paper and pencil and stare at the ceiling until he figured it out.

*  He insisted on doing things right and wanted things to be visually pleasing, taking the extra time it took.  He wasn’t a duct tape kind of guy!

Wife Carol and Daughter Megan, Bob, Carol’s brother and nephew Gerald


Accident prone

*  Got a fish hook caught in his eyelid, sitting in his truck, trying to get it out of the seatbelt, where it had gotten caught!

*  Fell off a ladder while he was at work when Carol was pregnant with their daughter Megan, and needed stitches on his head. Drove himself to the hospital and then called her to tell her!

*  A window fell on top of him and he called his mother from the ER, (after he drove himself there) to tell her he’d get to use that hospitalization she had just signed up for.

*  Broke his leg the first time he went skiing

*  Broke his arm playing in one of his first Little Guy Football games.

*  And one of the funniest “accidents” –   One day he was cleaning a fish over the kitchen sink with the disposal running so it would grind up the scales as he cleaned it…However, when he dropped the fish, down it went into the running disposal – fish fillet!

Jokes

NO ONE loved a joke and a good laugh more than my brother and he had one  for every occasion, every phone call with the family and anytime he was with a friend.  My  dad told me the morning of his death he would miss those phone calls, which always ended with a joke, often lame, but you just had to laugh.  for example:

*  Two cannibals were eating a clown. The one cannibal said to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?

*  A man went to a psychiatrist and said “I’m a wigwam. I’m a teepee. I’m a wigwam. I’m a teepee.”  And the psychiatrist said “Relax! You’re too tense (tents!)”. I can just still hear Gordon telling that joke. It was one of his better ones! Shared by Carol, his wife

 

A few of the things Gordon would say and do:

*  “I understand, but I disagree with you!” He had unique phrases for every situation – always a new one, so they never got old.  He loved telling  a story and every time he told it, the story was longer and more elaborate.

*  Loved to learn and talk about anything, especially off-the-wall topics, cell phones, his GPS, computer, how to paint (he was a painting contractor) and sports of any kind.

*  He loved his church and his church  soft ball league. He and one of this friends were the “old guys and he had recently started to play squash with a new friend.

*  Galen, his brother in law, said when they played golf together, Gordon never got upset by a bad game because each hole was a new adventure and a chance to redeem his game.  He rarely kept score.

Living out and communicating his faith:

One of the things I loved most was hearing  how Gordon communicated his faith.  One of his friends, Keith, added these comments a few years later as Carol and I visited with him at a coffee shop in Billings:

“When talking to me about God before I was a Christ follower (and I am one because of him)  he never preached, or quoted scriptures.  He told stories.  And would often play devil’s advocate.  He would ask questions like “what if. . . why . . . have you ever thought . . .”  and then he’d jump up and say “I’ve got to go,” again, leaving you thinking.”  For over two years Keith said Gordon  was his “spiritual mentor” and it is because of him he is a Christian husband, father, business man.”

* * * * *

I miss you.

I am beyond grateful God answered my seven year-old prayer for a baby brother.

I”ll always love you, Little Brother.

 

14 Comments

14 responses to “The most wasted of days is the one without laughter!”

  1. Ivan says:

    This makes me want to be more intentional with my little brother. Beautiful read. Cannot believe he got a fish hook stuck in his eye! LOL

    • carol says:

      oh Ivan, he was a piece of work…and I mean that with all the love I have for him. His tales were legendary. Yes, brothers are so important and the relationship so worth cultivating.

  2. Deidra says:

    I am late to this story, but I wanted you to know I was here, and that I read this, and that I wish I’d known your brother. Thank you so much for sharing these memories. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    • carol says:

      Deidra…it’ was good to hear from you. Yes, he was a fun guy and I miss him so much. thanks for reading….It touches my heart when people I dont’ even know read and care. blessings

  3. Oh my gosh, Carol. Gordon sounds like one fantastic character. I kept thinking as I read this, how much he and my dad would have loved each others’ company. I’m so glad to be getting these glimpses of him through your remembrances. Not only because he’s your brother, but because of these stories, too, can I understand how MUCH you must miss him. xoxo

    • carol says:

      Oh Amber, you make me smile. I read early on that those of us left behind must sing their song because they can no longer sing it. I enjoy too thinking your dad and my brother would enjoy each other. Gives me a nice warm feeling. thanks for reading it – like you are reading the music i am trying to write!

  4. Tom Stanton says:

    Gordon was one of the guys that I felt was special and I was a little afraid of him- president’s son and all. I liked him and I respected him but did not know him well. I was shaken when I heard of his home going and have prayed for you folks from time to time since then. thanks for reminding us of him!

    • carol says:

      Tom, how nice to hear from you. I smile when I think of you being a bit afraid of him since he was the president’s son. thanks so much for checking in here and leaving your greetings. And thank you for the prayers for the Longeneckers.

  5. Donna says:

    Awwww this post is just great, although I am sure it was hard to write. It makes me so so glad I knew Gordon and can appreciate all over again what a character he was. Such a special special man!

    • carol says:

      Actually, Donna, it made me happy and I felt warm all over. I smiled a lot today. I had put all that in the album I made about him, but had never really worked on it to make it readable, etc. Yes, he was a character!

  6. Sharon O says:

    What a wonderful beautiful testimony and remembrance of someone so special to you. I am sure he is looking down and smiling.

  7. Bonnie Jackson Lake says:

    I knew Gordon at MIB. He was a good friend. I think we did ministry service together. I did not know that he passed. Thanks for sharing.

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