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Major Thomas Gordon was born on September 7,1920 to the late Joseph and Sarah Gordon in Florence, Alabama. He was the fifth of six children; preceded in death by his sister Esther Ahmad, his brothers Elmer, Honer B, and Welton. Major professed his faith in Jesus Christ at an early age and was affiliated with various churches. Eventually, he was baptized in 1982 at New Morning Star MB Church. Major served the church for 20 years. Fourteen of those years were as an usher. In 2014, he united with Lima Temple Baptist Church. Later in life, Major visited various churches.
Major moved to Detroit in 1949 and worked at General Motors Gear and Axle where he retired after 30 years in 1979. However, business was Major’s love. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to become involved with many enterprises over the years including a used car lot when he was 21, real estate investment, a speak easy, pest control (40 years), trailer trucking, and black topping (30 years). Major was the first Black owned black topping business registered in the state of Ohio. His last business venture was a resale shop. He was featured in the Lima News in 2013, as “Business owner still kicking at 93.” Major loved saying, “I’m a businessman”. He retired from all business ventures in 2016 at the age of 96. Major was very proud that he never had to ask his parents for money after leaving home at the age of sixteen. In fact, he sent money to his parents. Major was not happy unless he was making money and spending it too.
Major also loved driving Cadillacs, traveling, and singing. He continued driving long distances until the age of 96 visiting family and friends. Major had a pleasant singing voice and began singing at funerals around the age of 75. His daughter Philomena dubbed him “The Funeral Singer”.
Major got a kick out of being a member of the buckeye State Sheriff’s Association which he joined in 2016. He also had a gift for holding court while telling stories to make people laugh. He enjoyed being around people and being the center of attention. Major was elated with his national attention when he was featured on the Today Show’s Smucker Cup, claiming his 101 Birthday. He had made it Big Time!
Major was united in holy matrimony to Jeanette Gordon on April 25, 1947. Their marriage was amicable and loving and they enjoyed 56 years together until her death on July 31, 2003. Within this union, six children were born, Shirley Watson (Southfield, Mi), Philomena (Maurice) Turner (Detroit Mi), Theresa Thurman (deceased), Patricia Gordon (W. Hollywood, Ca), Carmen Gordon (deceased) and Anthony (Pamela) Gordon (Lima, Oh). Jeanette loved teasing him about how her name did not change after they married.
Major was also loved by his children Annie Mae Gordon (deceased), Charles Gordon (deceased), Natalie Gordon (Florence, Al), Billy (Sonia) Brown (LA, Ca), Shirley White (Middleton, Oh), Vickie Ward (Atlanta, Ga), Nora Jackson and Brenda Petaway of Lima, Oh.
Major lived his life on his own terms until his transition on October 15, 2023.
Major also leaves behind to cherish his memory his sister Laurine Gordon, a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Interment: Woodlawn Cemetery
Services entrusted to: JONES-CLARK FUNERAL HOME, INC.
To order flowers and to offer condolences to the GORDON Family visit www.jonesclarkfuneralhome.com.