LITTLE FALLS – Gordon W. Douglas, Sr. (Gordie), passed away on December 5, 2023, surrounded by his family, in the comfort of his son’s home.
Gordon was born on November 3, 1932, to parents Burton Douglas and Julia (Dorothy) Kraus. He was a lifelong resident of Little Falls. He spent most of his youth as a “Southsider,” where he attended Jefferson Street School. There, he enjoyed and practiced many sports at the old Flint Ave. “gym.”
Gordie grew into a talented athlete and brought those talents to Little Falls High School. He was an outstanding player in football, basketball, and baseball and played on the varsity baseball team in 8th grade. Gordie’s excellence in baseball brought many professional scouts to invite him for tryouts. Upon graduation from High School, he signed with the New York Yankees in 1952. Gordie traveled and played with some famous players and had many interesting stories about his time as a Yankee Minor League player. Following a trade to the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was fortunate enough to play with Jackie Robinson for one summer. Gordie often credited his success to his favorite coaches “Charlie” Young and Wilbur Crisp as well as his lifelong friends and teammates, Joe Buckley, Lou Pohleven and Ted Wind.
He eventually returned home from the Yankees to continue working for the Giammaria family at the Modern Dry Cleaners. Gordon and his friend and business partner, Dom Perrino, purchased the dry cleaners which was not only a career move but a life changing decision for Gordon.
Gordie met the love of his life, Marianne Nirri Keller, of St. Johnsville, who worked across the street as a Nursery School Teacher. They fell in love and married on August 25, 1957. Theirs was a true love story for 64 years. Gordon selflessly and lovingly cared for his wife for many years before her passing in 2021.
Gordon and Marianne built a life and grew a family in Little Falls. Together, they raised five children on Churchill St. Both valued family and family events with immediate and extended members. Holidays, family reunions, vacations, and coffee with peanut butter and bread at Gordon’s parents’ house with siblings, nieces, and nephews were some of his favorite times. Marianne was the driving force to carry on traditions. Her Holiday “feasts” were enjoyed by many family and friends.
As a new business owner, Gordon worked long hours, but family time was precious. Both Gordie and Marianne began the tradition of vacationing in Brigantine, NJ. Every summer for 42 years they brought their growing family to the shore. They got to enjoy seeing the 3rd generation at the shore as well. As their children grew with their own families, the couple discovered and greatly enjoyed cruises with family, going to Yankee games, traveling to many places, including Las Vegas and Italy. Gordie and Marianne enjoyed going to the casino as well.
Gordie and Marianne supported their five children and 12 grandchildren in all their extracurricular activities. They were regular spectators at many games, musical events and plays. Gordie liked to give advice to all the athletes!
Gordie gave back to his Community that supported him. He was a member of the DeCarlo-Staffo Post, a Commissioner on the Little Falls Recreation Commission, and a communicant of Holy Family Catholic Church.
The birth of every grandchild and great-grandchild added to their joy. Their hearts had a special place for each one.
Gordon will be missed not only by his family but the countless number of people he touched throughout his life as a business owner, athlete, and a beautiful human being. His sense of humor will live on as many people have “experienced” his humor and jokes. Gordon had a wonderful smile that made you feel welcome. He was very well-liked by all who knew him…not one enemy. His presence in life will be missed as he is now reunited with his love, Marianne, whom he missed dearly.
Celebrating Gordie’s life (Dad and Poppi) are his 5 Children, Diane (Scott) Tooley, Gordon Jr. (Cathy), John (Cresie), Daniel (with whom he recently resided) and Leanne (Luke) Roopra; his 12 Grandchildren, Danielle (Jon) Muratore, Lauren (Sachin) Chadha, Olivia Tooley, Leah (Justin) Graepel, Gordon III (Corky), Kaitlin (Pat) Dewey, Anthony Douglas, Creshelle Douglas, Marianne Douglas, Benjamin Roopra, Lillian Roopra and Elizabeth Roopra; and his six great-grandchildren, Nora, Nathan, Arlo, Maya Marianne, Stella, and Hazel. Gorden is survived by many nieces and nephews, too numerous to mention, but loved dearly.
Gordon was predeceased by his parents, Burton and Dorothy; his brothers and sisters, Dayton, Marion, Erma, Lorraine, Robert, and Walter; as well as his sibling’s spouses.
Children and Grandchildren will gather in the spring for a dual burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in East Herkimer for Gordon and Marianne. At this time, friends and family are welcome to celebrate the lives of the Douglas couple. The date and time will be determined.
Donations may be made in the Douglas Couple name to Hospice and Palliative Care through their website. Also, please consider a donation to the Dementia Society of America through their website.
The family would like to thank the Hospice nurses, Beth, Judy, Angela, and Carie for the compassionate care they showed the family and Gordie.
Gordon’s arrangements have been entrusted to the Enea Family Funeral Home, 24 West Monroe St., Little Falls, NY, Enea, Ciaccia & Applegate Funeral Directors.