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Merrill K. Gordon III
March 7, 1944 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
Merrill Kern Gordon III, 79, of Winfield, KS passed away Thursday, October 12, 2023.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, November 4th, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church in Winfield. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Arkansas City, donations may be left in the care of the Shelley Family Funeral Home of Winfield.
Merrill was born March 7, 1944 in Tampa, FL the son of Merrill Kern Gordon, Jr. and Ann Elizabeth “Bette” (Deardorf) Gordon. After living in Butte, MT for a short time, the Gordon’s moved to Winfield, KS in 1950 where Merrill attended Stevenson and Pleasant Valley elementary schools and graduated from high school. In high school Merrill played football and ran on the track team, he was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. While he was in high school Merrill worked for Wilson’s Motel and Gas Station, on John Reynold’s Farm, and eventually on the Gordon Ranch from 1959-1961. In 1962 Merrill started summer school at Kansas State University, from which he graduated in 1968.
After graduating from K-State, Merrill started his architect internship in Kansas City, MO at Cooper, Robinson and Carlson, he later went to Folger & Pearson and Linscott & Haylett. In 1971 he passed the Missouri State boards and became a licensed architect. That year he started a construction business and built 11 homes in the Kansas City area. In 1974 he moved back to Winfield and went to work for Don Potter, Architect who would make Merrill a partner in 1975, they operated Potter & Gordon Architects for 15 years. After Don’s retirement in 1990 Merrill became the sole proprietor of the firm, he continued managing Gordon & Associates Architects PA until his retirement in 2017.
Merrill was a member of many organizations including the American Institute of Architects, American Legion Riders, Son’s of the American Legion, Kansas State University Alumni Association, Winfield Chamber of Commerce, Winfield Rotary Club, and the Winfield Country Club. He served on the board of the H.L. Snyder Medical Foundation, the Good Samaritan Society, and the First Community Federal Savings and Loan. Merrill served for a term as the Winfield City Commissioner and as the Winfield Mayor, he was Cowley County Chairman of the American Heart Association for 5 years and was on the Wellington and Winfield Trades Boards for over 10 years, Habitat for Humanity and was an elder at First Baptist Church of Arkansas City. Merrill enjoyed attending K-State football games, woodworking, photography, riding bicycles and motorcycles, flying planes, mountain climbing and being outdoors. He excelled at everything he did.
Merrill leaves behind his wife of 15 years, Tracie Gordon, his children Chad Gordon (Christie) of Winfield, Heather Gordon (Lauren) of Kansas City, Codey Owens (Kelsey) of Winfield, and Brooke Hill of Winfield; father and mother-in-law Gary and Joy Detwiler; brother-in-law Tyson Detwiler (Jennifer); grandchildren: Kailey White (Kal), Bethanie Finholm (Thomas), Jillian Gordon, Nico, Isabella, Maddison, Wyatt, and Morgan. Merrill also leaves behind his sisters: Helen (Gary) of Olathe, Suzanne of Vietnam, and Barbara (Sam) of Pompano Beach, FL; niece Brianna Detwiler, and nephew Cory Johnston and his children Jordan, Sophia, and Emory, all of Olathe.
He is preceded in death by his parents, niece Becky Bramlage of Junction City, KS, along with her husband, Ron, and their children Brandon, Boston, Beau and Roxanne.