Gordon, the first of three sons was born on 11th July 1937. We all went to Oaklands a local Prep school in Buckhurst Hill, before migrating to Chigwell. Gordon first joined as a border at Haylands, then moved to Harsnetts but later he and younger brother Stephen became day boys. Their teenage years were happy and lively, a time many enduring school friendships were established. Like the majority of pupils Gordon joined the Cadet Corps, a foretaste of National Service. However, he strived to avoid sport! Nevertheless, Mike Hutchin, a lifelong school friend, recalls how, one day, unexpectedly and without any training, Gordon entered the 3mile road race from Abridge to the School gates. Astonishingly he led the field, so was catapulted into the cross country and athletics teams!

The premature death of our father meant that Gordon and Stephen had to leave school. Gordon was called up, joining the Military Police in Munster, Germany. By repute a case of poacher turned gamekeeper! There he met Mady his first wife and his only child Angela was born. Sadly, there was to be a separation, following which Gordon met and married Paula, known as “Stupps”. Gordon left the army and returned to the UK joining Freeman, Hardy and Willis. This proved a time for catching up and renewing old friendships.

Then, tragically Stupps died which led Gordon to leave for California to begin afresh. There he qualified as an Estate Agent, met and married Roberta, who had two adopted children, Samantha and Walter. They moved north to live and work in Cobb, Lake County, for many years. Wider family considerations prompted a move to Kansas which proved challenging. Gordon and Roberta divorced, and he returned to the UK, finally settling in Norfolk with his partner Pauline, a widow he had known many years before.

Gordon, always busy, enhanced every home and garden with his D.I.Y. skills, latterly crafting bespoke bird tables. We miss him, not least for his humour generosity, and viewing his American classic car on his driveway. He died suddenly on 14th December 2022.

By Ian Roberts (1954-1961), brother of Gordon Roberts

View the full lives remembered list visit the old chigwellians alumni overview

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