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Obituary Listings

Gordon P. Gits

May 31, 1931 March 12, 2012
Gordon P. Gits
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Obituary for Gordon P. Gits

GORDON PAUL GITS was born to Gustave and Alvina (Pint) Gits on May 31, 1931 in Marshall, Minnesota. He moved with his family to Slayton, Minnesota in 1936, later graduating from Slayton High School in 1949. He continued his education at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1953. In that same year, Gordon was drafted into the United States Army where he served in the Far East with the Army Counter Intelligence Corps until his honorable discharge in June, 1955. Shortly thereafter he moved to Luverne, Minnesota upon accepting a position as an English teacher where he taught for 34 years. On June 8, 1957, Gordon was united in marriage to Barbara Smith at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Luverne. He received his Master’s degree in English in 1971 from Mankato State College in which his thesis was based on selected writings of Frederick Manfred. Gordon was elected to the Luverne City Council in 1968 and held his office for the next 12 years. In 1986, Gordon was elected mayor of Luverne and served until 1992. During his term the city was awarded and built the Minnesota Veterans Home. After Gordon’s formal retirement from teaching in 1989, he remained active in the community serving on various boards and committees.

On Monday, March 12, 2012 Gordon died at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 80 years, nine months and 11 days.

Gordon was a member of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Luverne and Holy Name Catholic Church in Rock Rapids, Iowa. During his years in Luverne, Gordon served on numerous commissions and committees, including the Mayor’s Advisory Committee, Planning and Zoning Commission, Joint Swimming Pool Commission, Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Luverne Economic Development Authority (serving as both Vice-chairperson and Chairperson), Southwest Regional Development Commission (serving as Director), Budget/Finance and Building Committee, the city of Luverne Charter Commission, Unified Settlements Committee, Rock County Hall of Fame Candidate Selection Committee, Luverne Veterans Home Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Luverne National Guard Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Outpatient Chemical Dependency Steering Committee, and the Hospice Cottage Ad Hoc Committee. He was a contributing editor to the Luverne Alumni Newsletter, member of the Luverne Community Hospital Board (serving as Director, Chairperson, and Vice-chairperson), Council for the Arts and Humanities in Rock County, and member and past Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus organization in Luverne. Professionally, Gordon was a thirty-four year member of the teaching staff at Luverne High School, Luverne Education Association, and Minnesota Education Association serving as the President for the LEA and as State Chair and Director for the MEA. During his teaching career, he was named “Outstanding Young Educator” by the Luverne Jaycees in 1967 and in 1968 he received the “Teacher of Excellence” by the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program. Gordon enjoyed reading, working in the yard, traveling, and especially spending time with his grandchildren.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Barbara; four children, Theresa Gits-Borgstrom of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Paul Gits and his wife Jeanne Tazzioli of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary Reiggins of Hopkins, Minnesota, and Elizabeth Hackett of Austin, Texas; 2 grandchildren, Ashley Olson and her husband Riley, and Lucas Reiggins; and one sister, Mary Ehlers and her husband Don of Pipestone, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his son, Stephen; and his parents, Gustave and Alvina.

Memorials for Gordon may be directed to the Luverne Alumni News, the Luverne Dollars for Scholars, and the Luverne Hospice Cottage.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

16

Mar

4:00 PM 3/16/2012 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/16/2012 8:00:00 PM
Hartquist Funeral Home - Luverne Chapel

207 Elm St.
Luverne, MN 56156

Hartquist Funeral Home - Luverne Chapel
207 Elm St. Luverne 56156 MN
United States

Prayer Service

Friday

16

Mar

7:30 PM 3/16/2012 7:30:00 PM
Hartquist Funeral Home - Luverne Chapel

207 Elm St.
Luverne, MN 56156

Hartquist Funeral Home - Luverne Chapel
207 Elm St. Luverne 56156 MN
United States

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday

17

Mar

10:30 AM 3/17/2012 10:30:00 AM
St. Catherine Catholic Church - Luverne

203 E. Brown Street
Luverne, MN 56156

St. Catherine Catholic Church - Luverne
203 E. Brown Street Luverne 56156 MN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

St. Catherine's Cemetery - Luverne Final Resting Place

100 W. James St.
Luverne, MN 56156

100 W. James St. Luverne 56156 MN
United States
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