Alan Gordon was born in Chicago, Illinois June 12, 1931, to Lee and Dorée Gordon and passed away in Paradise Valley, Arizona, on October 27, 2022. He was raised in a loving home with his brother Michael who proceeded him in death. He did well scholastically and graduated from the Lab School at the University of Chicago at a young age. At the University of Illinois, he continued to excel as a student athlete running for the track and field team and continued there for medical school where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical fraternity. Following graduation in 1951, he moved on to a medical internship at Cook County Hospital. In 1954 he married Babs Schneider: she was his hand and heart, he was her “piano-man.”
Alan credits the US Navy for his “growing up”. While in medical school he committed to the Navy and enlisted in 1956 where he served aboard the USS Floyds Bay for one year and another as physician at the dependents’ dispensary, Naval Air Station North Island, CA. He remained in the US Navy Reserve until his honorable discharge in 1962 as a Lt. Commander. Civilian life brought him to a Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and a short stint on the staff there. Alan established a long and successful Internal Medicine practice in Phoenix, AZ, from 1962 to 1995, during which he earned several honors and awards. Among them are the Borden Undergraduate Research Award in Medicine (1955); Mayo Association A. Ashley Rousuck Award (1962); Laureate Award-American College of Physicians (1986); Arizona Governor to the American College of Physicians; Master, American College of Physicians (1993); Board of Internal Medicine; and Chairman of the Maricopa County Medical Society. In the late 1960s, Alan and his friend Dr. William Meyers volunteered with AmDoc in Bolivia, treating patients along the Amazon who had never been treated by a physician.
In addition to family, Alan had many favorites in life. Among them was playing the piano; listening to Mozart and Gershwin; playing golf, especially earning a hole-in-one on September 19, 2000; outdoor activities; eating Chinese food and pumpkin seeds; watching the Marx Bros. movies; and visiting and hiking the Grand Canyon. After a long and successful career as a physician, Alan continued his insatiable quest for knowledge through his retirement and up to the day he passed away. He read books every day, subscribed to virtual learning and lecture programs, completed daily crossword puzzles, and continued to master Jeopardy on TV.
Alan is survived by his wife Babs; their four children: Leslie (Peter); Todd (Kathy); Jill (Jon); and Pete (Celeste); five grandsons: Paul, Edward, Nathaniel, Aaron, James; and eight great-grandchildren. Alan and Babs suffered the loss of their infant son Paul in 1960.
Burial service will take place at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on November 10, 2022 at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that you consider a donation to “The Alan L. and Beatrice S. Gordon” scholarship, checks payable to “ASU Foundation”, P.O. Box 2260, Tempe, AZ 85280-2260. https://asufoundation.org The family would be equally honored by a donation to a charity of your choice.
Robert F Crawford Jr
Extending sincere condolences to the entire Gordon family.
What a dear man. I spent many years Recording for The Blind and Dyslexic with him. Aftr the studio closed, a group of us still met monthly to discuss the important topics of the day, as well as Alan’s latest studies. My book group read the book “Chicago” by Brian Doyle, and I learned that this was Alan’s neighborhood, and Babs’ too! He graciously came to the book Club meeting, and armed with a map, told us their story about living in Chicago. I have just re-ordered the book, so that I can read it again, with fond memories of Alan.
Dr. Alan Gordon as one of the “early pioneers” of Internal Medicine in Phoenix and practiced principally at St. Joseph’s and Good Sam and was a stalwart of our St. Joseph’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. He served on the American Board of Internal Medicine and as Governor of Arizona’s American College of Physicians he was awarded “Master” of the ACP.
Phoenix and Arizona were fortunate to attract a stellar group of high quality physicians to Good Samaritan and St. Joseph’s in the ’60s and 70′ s before the Valley’s population explosion and the tumultuous decision to place the first State medical school in Tucson.
He was colorful renaissance man who was proudly official “Chicago Cub Fan #5” and forever carried his membership card in his wallet. In the early 1980s, the residents had actual live IVY brought surreptitiously overnight from Wrigley Field to present to him at out graduation, which he planted at his cabin in Flagstaff.
He was more than just a physician and a consummate role model and teacher… he was one of a cadre of pioneer Arizona medical Jedi Knights that will be forever remembered.
Charlie Daschbach MD
Dr. Gordon provided me with excellent care until his retirement from practice in the 90s. For years, we would reconnect with Babs and Dr. Gordon at ASU football games at Sun Devil Stadium. I was also fortunate to be classmates with their daughter Leslie at both Central High and Beth Israel Sunday School. My condolences to the entire Gordon family.
David Gullen MD
Alan Gordon was a great colleague and mentor. He was certainly one of the premier internal medicine specialists in Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Certainly, his clinical acumen and leadership skills were exceptional. What I am particularly grateful for is the way he mentored me and others internists. Early in my career he asked me to help organize a meeting for the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians. That opportunity and others he provided helped further my career opportunities with the College and the American Board of Internal Medicine. In addition to the many accomplishments mentioned by Dr. Daschbach, Alan was the first Master of the American College of Physicians in the State of Arizona, a national honor awarded to only 2% of the internists in the country. He and Babs were “just the best” – always supportive, kind and fun. He was the type of physician and person that we all aspire to be . It was a great privilege to be his colleague and friend.