Serving 15 years as the North Myrtle Beach Animal Control Officer, Jerry Gordon quickly became a staple among city residents. Gordon died Sept. 28 at the McLeod Loris Hospital.
“He’s been a model employee, always smiling, laughing,” said Director of Public Safety Jay Fernandez. “He was always there on a moment’s notice.”
Gordon still worked for the department at the time of his passing.
Fernandez said Gordon would always help out, and most recently helped the city prepare for Hurricane Florence, which hit the coast last month.
“He touched so many people,” Fernandez said.
As the animal control officer, Gordon worked closely with the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach.
Tina Hunter, executive director of the organization, said the relationship between the humane society and Gordon was a “symbiotic team.”
“He was just an all-around awesome person,” Hunter said. “Just a passionate, compassionate individual. Jerry never had a bad day, Jerry was never upset. I don’t know how to put it into words.”
Born Jan. 28, 1957, in Mooresville, North Carolina, Gordon started his career as an enlisted member of the United States Air Force. Gordon was stationed across the country and overseas.
The highlight of his career, according to an obituary, was during his time on the Thunderbirds Demonstration Team, which he served on from 1988 to 1992. The Thunderbirds are an air demonstration team based out of the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
As a member of the team, Gordon acted as audio and video producer. Gordon was expected to film each practice and show so pilots could debrief after.
“He had to be very meticulous to get that position,” his wife, Janice Gordon, said.
Janice Gordon said members of the team who produce audio and video start out working for the team for one year. If they do well at their job, they are given a second year.
Jerry Gordon worked on the team for four years.
“He was very good at his job,” Janice Gordon said.
Jerry Gordon also received incentive rides and cross country rides, where he would ride in the back of one of the F-16 jets.
He retired from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 2000. Based in Charleston, Jerry and Janice Gordon moved to North Myrtle Beach, where he joined the police department in 2002.
Gordon was predeceased by his two brothers and two sister, his wife of 41 years, his son Justin Gordon and two grandchildren.
“The support from the [North Myrtle Beach] police department, the community, neighbors and friends has been incredible,” Justin Gordon said.
On Thursday, the family will receive friends at the Lee Funeral Home in Little River from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Officers with the North Myrtle Beach Police Department will escort Gordon from his family house to the funeral home.
A burial with full military honors will be held Nov. 5 at Salisbury National Cemetery in North Carolina. Fernandez said several officers are planning to attend the burial.
Memorials can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in Jacksonville, Florida or to the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach.
“He’s going to be sorely missed,” Fernandez said.