Gordon Ray York was born in Mobile, Alabama on September 9,1952, the youngest son of Mr. William Lee York Senior and Mrs. Sara Louise Skipwith York. During his formative years, Gordon showed signs of being a naturally talented athlete. In addition to his athletic promise, he demonstrated an even greater talent and passion for playing the drums. After graduating from high school, he played semi-pro football, with The Mobile Generals, and was approached by the Dallas Cowboys. While playing softball in the neighborhood park one night in 1979, he met the love of his life, his future wife Patricia Kelly.
After traveling to New York and Chicago, Gordon and Pat decided they would pursue a life in the United States Army. They both served their country with distinction and were the true Army Family. Gordon achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant as he supported his assignments in the US, Europe and the Middle East. After 16 years of service and while serving in a combat assignment in Bosnia, he was injured and later, after over 20 years of active duty service, received a medical discharge with honors. During his years of service Gordon received many awards including: The Army Commendation Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Armed Forces Service Medal, The NCO Professional Development Ribbon, The NATO Medal, The Army Superior Unit Award, The Parachutist Badge, The Air Assault Badge and many other Awards and distinctions.
Gordon’s love for service to Family, Country and God began early in life. He was adored by his family as the baby boy and our “Little Drummer Boy.” He was active in the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA Summer Programs, Central High School Band and was an excellent athlete with superior skills and talent especially in Football, Baseball and Swimming. His love of service and competitive spirit served him throughout his life and proved to be an asset and the hallmark of his performance in all his endeavors. As a passionate advocate for justice and fair play, he sought out opportunities to assist other veterans and wounded warriors as they met the challenges of realizing their full benefits from loyal and heroic services to their country.
Gordon’s passion and capacity for assisting other veterans was the result of being an excellent student of the military benefits system and having a tenacious attitude for getting it right. His sophistication in military benefits regulations resulted in his being invited to become a member of a medical review board by the Army. Yes, Gordon was a drummer; he was a drummer for his family, his brothers in the army and for God. In the true spirit of his African Culture which began in Nigeria he became proficient in the use of drums to send a message of hope and love. He took his talents from Mobile, to New York, on to Chicago, to Europe and back to North Carolina where he completed his tour of duty on this planet and now has received a new promotion as Drummer To Our Father in Heaven.
On his Journey Through Life, Gordon was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, son, brother, friend but above all, he was a devoted Son of God. He was predeceased by his parents, and his beloved daughter, Katrina Michele York. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Patricia Kelly York; two daughters, Tamara York-Smith and Michelle York; four grandchildren: Taishon; and Taiyonnah; Cornell Breshard Smith; and Dayton Smith;Two great-grandchildren: Mar’Shawn Isaiah and Mariah Faith; two sisters: Jacquelyn Y. Washington (George); Sharon Anita Sanders (Ezekiel); and two brothers: William Lee York, Jr. (Krista); and Leonard V. York (Regenia) and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and fellow American Heroes.
Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday at 11 am at Herring Funeral Care & Cremations Chapel.
A viewing will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 3-5pm and from 10-11am on Saturday.
Arrangements by Herring Funeral Care & Cremations.
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