Gordon Smith, age 95 of Northfield, passed away Tuesday evening, February 9, 2021, in the loving care of his family at Martin Luther Manor in Bloomington, MN.
Gordon was born on June 18, 1925, in Montevideo, MN, to Dr. Leon Grant and Edith Jane (Lumley) Smith. Gordon had many happy memories of growing up in Montevideo with his two brothers, William and Eugene, and his sister, Margaret. He had especially fond memories of an idyllic childhood in their house on Summit Avenue where his siblings and neighborhood friends enjoyed playing marbles, riding their bikes, and ice skating on the Chippewa River.
Gordon first met the love of his life, JoAnn Isabelle Johnson, while they were both in the eighth grade. He had a vivid recollection of his first glimpse of JoAnn when she was visiting a next-door family. He would never forget her stunning black hair and the way she stood with her arms held demurely at her side. It was love at first sight.
In June of 1945, Gordon and JoAnn were married at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Montevideo. They made their first home in Minneapolis, where Gordon resumed his studies at the University of Minnesota, and JoAnn completed her nurses' training at Fairview Hospital. In 1949, they were blessed with twin daughters, which initiated a move back to Montevideo to be near family. Soon after moving back to Montevideo, Gordon and his brother Eugene began farming. Gordon and JoAnn welcomed three more daughters while living on the farm. Gordon continued farming, in addition to selling seed corn for Pioneer Hybrid International. He eventually became a regional sales manager for Pioneer, which necessitated a move to St. Peter, MN in 1968.
Throughout his life, Gordon loved music. He and JoAnn enjoyed contributing their musical talents in many ways, from singing together in high school musicals "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Brigadoon," to singing in several church choirs. He loved barbershop music, and was a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He sang as baritone in both a barbershop quartet and men's chorus, thoroughly enjoying this musical genre throughout his years. Gordon was a talented woodworker for much of his adult life, crafting furniture and beautiful Shaker boxes that will forever serve as reminders of his expertise. He had many interests, including history and genealogical research, devoting hours to researching and writing historical ancestry record books that are treasured by his family.