Irving E. “Spike” Gordon ’50 died on November 4, 2012, in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
(The following was published by The Boston Globe on November 5, 2012)
Irving “Spike” Gordon, a former North Shore businessman and World War II Marine Corps combat veteran, died on November 4, 2012, following a brief illness. He was 87 years old. A native of Salem, he lived most of his adult life in Lynn and Swampscott. At the time of his death, he was a resident of the Lafayette Nursing Home in Marblehead. Spike graduated from Salem High School in 1942 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the Marines. He saw service in the Philippines and the Solomon Islands and participated in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. Irving received his fifth sergeant stripe before his twentieth birthday, making him at the time the youngest marine to hold that rank. Following his return from the war, Spike matriculated at Bowdoin College where he was a founding member of the college’s first fraternity open to Jews and African Americans. After graduating in the class of 1950, he entered his family’s clothing business. Later, Irving owned or managed several prominent North Shore businesses, including Hoffman’s in Lynn, Allied Lumber in Salem and Harvey’s Door and Window in Beverly. Spike was active in community affairs, including the Lynn chapter of the NAACP and the Jewish Rehabilitation Center of the North Shore. He and his wife worked extensively with newly-arrived Russian immigrants to help them settle on the North Shore. He was an active life-long participant in Marine Corps veterans’ activities. He was an avid sportsman, for years a fixture on the tennis courts of the Nahant Country Club, New England ski slopes and on various local golf courses. He was a member of Temple Emanuel in Marblehead. In 1948, Spike married his high-school sweetheart, the former Idarose “Sis” Silverman of Lynn. The couple celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in September. In addition to his wife, Spike is survived by four children, David of Washington, DC; Andrew of Baltimore, MD; Lilli of Newton and Scott of New York, NY. He leaves six grandsons and two granddaughters. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.