Gordon was born on December 13th, 1940, in Portland, ME to Woodrow and Alma Billington. He grew up in Standish, ME and graduated as Salutatorian from Standish High School in 1958.
He attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1962. He completed Flight Training in Texas the following year.
In 1964, he earned his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Arizona while stationed in Clovis, New Mexico. He served in the Air Force until 1991, rising to the rank of Colonel. During a combat mission in Southeast Asia, Gordon was forced to eject from his jet above the Indian Ocean. He also bailed out during a routine training mission in the United States.
He flew such aircraft as the F-100, F-105, and F-4 Jet Fighters while stationed at multiple locations worldwide. He had the privilege of commanding jet fighter organizations until his retirement at the beginning of The Gulf War. He loved flying so much that he also bought a Cessna Cardinal RG airplane for his own personal use during his time stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Upon his retirement in 1991, Gordon returned to Standish where he earned his second Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie Institute in 1995, earned a new Microsoft certification, and built his and Carol’s new house and barn next to their parents. Following an internship in Governor Angus King’s office, he joined the Maine Department of Labor as the Director of Operations. During this period, he also became a Standish Town Councilor serving as Chair in 1999.
Gordon became Town Manager of Standish in 2001 and served as the chair of The Greater Portland Commission of Governments until he retired in 2018. He and Carol shared many endeavors together while improving and developing his cherished hometown. These included creating public parks, designing a new town hall, developing a public beach, new roads, and a subdivision called Shadow Woods.
Another shared adventure was the breeding and showing of Samoyed dogs. Over the many years, they bred three Samoyed litters, showed several from the bunch, some even becoming champions. In recent years Gordon became very interested in their ancestry and discovered that he is the 14th great-grandchild of John Billington and Carol is the 14th great-grandchild of Elizabeth Tilley, both of whom were passengers on the Mayflower.
Gordon also had passions for spending quality time with family, sharing cocktails, smiles, and laughter, as well as golfing and traveling. He never missed an opportunity to talk politics, inevitably ‘stirring the pot’. One of his favorite summertime activities was terrorizing his grandchildren while pulling them on the tube as the driver of Livet-Up, his and Carol’s ski boat. He also loved cheering on the New England Patriots! After retirement, Gordon spent time reflecting and embracing his spiritual beliefs and had become a valued part of his church and community in Sidney.
He was predeceased by his parents Woodrow and Alma Billington, his brothers John and Dennis Billington and his son-in-law Chris Hamler. He is survived by Carol, his wife of 47 years. He also leaves his younger brother Gilbert Billington and his wife Debra. He leaves his 5 children, 14 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. These include Geoff and Stephanie Billington and their children Peyton and Caleb; Scott Michael Billington; Kristin Hamler and her children Marleigh and Tyler Hutson and their son Callan, James and Julia Fox, Austin and Morgan Hamler; Kelly Gillian and her children Jade, Chloe, and Grace Gillian and Olivia McKenzie; Sean Robert Billington and his partner Sandra Bennett and his children Karaline, Colin and Kevin Billington.
Gordon was born to fly.
Yet his head was never so far in the sky,
That he was unable to lend, whether to family or friend,
A shoulder on which to cry,
Or an arm to be held by.
(James Fox, Grandson)
The viewing for Gordon will be on November 13th from 10 AM to 1 PM at Lawry Brothers – Wheeler Funeral Home located at 26 Church Street, Oakland, ME 04963. Directly following there will be a military-honored funeral service at Oak-Sid United Methodist Church located at 20 W School Street, Oakland ME 04963
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Gordon’s honor to the Wounded Warrior Project located at PO Box 758540, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
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Published by Wheeler Funeral Home – Oakland on Nov. 12, 2021.