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Obituary: Gordon Gordon

By Nick Bullock
Published: November 30, 2012
Gordon Gordon, who passed away Nov. 17 at the age of 84, didn’t set out to sell hobby products, but as his son Gary said, the family “rode a couple of waves” of hobbies that led to today’s popular store, Greenfield News & Hobby in suburban Milwaukee.

Gordon founded the business in 1965 in Cudahy, Wis., and sold it to his younger son, Jay, in 1981. Jay, and his older brother Gary, still run the store today, which has since moved twice and has been located at 6815 W. Layton Ave. in Greenfield, Wis., since 1999.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Gordon went to Cudahy to visit family. He never left. He worked odd jobs for a number of years, including driving a city bus. Then while working for a gas company and managing income properties, Gordon opened Cudahy Liquor. 

“He had all this manpower,” said Gary, referring to he and his siblings.

Eventually, Gordon began selling miscellaneous items, including magazines, in the liquor store. “Magazines were really growing at that time,” Gary said. “There was always Time and Life and all that stuff, but there just became a proliferation of car magazines and decorating magazines and women’s magazines. … I remember we probably had, like, 20 titles of detective stories.”

Soon after that, Gary took an interest in plastic models, and the store began to sell those, as well. 

It didn’t take long before Gordon decided to stop selling liquor and focus on magazines and models, which have been the store’s focus ever since.

Gordon became less involved in running the store as the years went by, Gary said, but he and his wife, Anne, continued to encourage his original employees, Gary and Jay. “He was always a supporter,” Gary said. “He was always a backer. Even in the early days, he would direct us what to do, which I feel blessed for, except I’m a workaholic, like him.”

The family plans to hold a family celebration of Gordon’s life in the spring. “It’s what he wanted,” Gary said. “We always had family picnics, and he would have liked that.”

The family is also asking anyone wishing to memorialize Gordon to direct their donations in his name to the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee.

In addition to his wife, Anne, and his sons, Gary and Jay, Gordon is survived by his daughter Gail Widner and his sisters Celia Meehan and Estelle Goodner.