Israel (Babe) Maxwell Gordon

10959626_10153647681012178_2970104052117943118_n-1Israel  (Babe) Maxwell Gordon, 103, of New Haven, died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday morning, February 4. He was President of the George Gordon Company ,New Haven’s largest fruit and produce wholesaler. As president of the New Haven Food Terminal, he was instrumental in locating the Long Wharf Theater  there. He was a Director of the Hamden National Bank and several of its successors.  In the late 1960s, he was an owner of  a farm team of the New York Jets. Family was of primary importance in his life. He was married for close to 70 years to the late Adele Adler Gordon whom he adored  He was loved, admired, and served as a life role model for those who knew him. He is survived by his three children, Beth and Michael Davis of Newton, Massachusetts, Cynthia and Philip Strause of San Mateo, California and John and Frances Gordon of New Haven; eight grandchildren – Daniel and Lisa Davis, Jonathan and Kimberly Davis, Gordon and Tina Strause, Charles and Yoshie Strause, Emily and Brian Sena, Anne (Gordon) and Robert Chehade, Geoffrey and Floortje Gordon, and Jenna (Gordon) and Kenneth Ferguson.  He also leaves behind 20 great grandchildren: Zoë, Marc, Joshua, and Emma Davis; Noah, Halle, Hana, Madeleine, and Jeremy Strause; Jacob, Luke, and Maggie Sena;, Juliet, William, and Caroline Chehade; Primo, Carver, and Efrem Gordon; and Aoife and August Ferguson.  He was the beloved brother of Merle Weisman, of New Haven, the late Betty Rosenthal of West Hartford, the late Monroe Gordon , and the late Myron Gordon of Southport.  He also leaves many nieces and nephews  and his primary caretaker A’zsha Tillman who brought happiness to his later years.  She was ably and lovingly assisted by Pearlestine Boyd, Annette Relaford, Deborah Wearing,and Quintina Relaford.  All will truly miss him. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or a charity of one’s choice.

Private interment will be at the Mishkan Israel Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to the funeral service and reception at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Road, Hamden, Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

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  1. Betsy Miller Cohen said,

    02.05.15 at 2:21 am

    Babe was one of a kind. There was rarely a visit to see my grandmother, Syl Fish, that did not include time with Adele and Babe. Babe’s warm smile brightened the room and his humor and kindness were, always, present.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gordon family.

  2. Ellie Comen said,

    02.05.15 at 2:50 am

    I am so saddened to learn of Babe’s death. He was a wonderful, kind and sweet man who always had a smile for all who knew him. Please accept my condolences on your terrible loss.

  3. Lindy Lee Gold said,

    02.05.15 at 12:04 pm

    It was wonderful to see your entire family cherishing their time with Babe last week. He was loving and beloved and lived a life of kindness and humility. You are his proud legacy.

    While no words can assuage your grief, the circle family and friends will
    give you strength.
    Sincere condolences to the Gordon family,

  4. Gerri Frankel said,

    02.05.15 at 12:37 pm

    Dear all,
    Although this is a sad time, there is no doubt that Babe’s life, well-lived and well-shared with sweet Adele and all of you, was wonderful. Starting with the friendship with my parents in 1937 (or perhaps before), Adele and Babe were in many photos that I still treasure. And for so many years, the house on Woodside was on my Westville walking route! Clearly, your love and support bolstered both of your folks well beyond Arline and Joe’s departure.
    I’m sorry that I will be unable to be with you this week, as I am in FL. But, my nostalgic thoughts are with you.
    Love, Gerri

  5. Phyllis Robinson said,

    02.05.15 at 4:10 pm

    Extremely sorry for your loss which only time can heal. Mr. & Mrs. Gordon was very dear and precious to me. They are truly missed.

  6. Leslie Brisman said,

    02.05.15 at 4:14 pm

    Both of my dear neighbors had greetings they would repeat at every encounter: Adele, during her morning constitutionals, would pass me with her friends and look back and say, “Young man, at that pace, it’s not exercise!” And Babe, until very near the end, would always say, “I enjoy life. You should too!” I also want to pay tribute to Asia and all the lovely people who cared for him.

  7. Nancy Alcombright said,

    02.05.15 at 4:44 pm

    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved father and grandfather. May the wonderful memories you share of him comfort you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.
    Love, Nancy and Dan

  8. Diane Cole said,

    02.05.15 at 7:17 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Babe. He was a unique person and loved life and most important of all, his family. What an amaziing legacy he has left. I send my thoughts and prayers to all of you. I am sorry I cannot be with you at this time, but I am restricted because of my back surgery Please know that I am thinking of all of you at this difficult time.

  9. Debbie and Bob First said,

    02.06.15 at 1:38 am

    A life well lived — defines Babe. I had the privilege to be Beth’s camp friend — and that meant becoming family. Babe and Adele were like Ozzie and Harriet in the 50’s sit com, at 85 Woodside Terrace, open and welcomng to neighbors, family and friends going in and out – for meals and overnights — Babe and Adele were ageless and very present. So many memories — but the clearest picture is of a smiling Babe -/ broadest when surrounded by his family.

    Now there is a new star in heaven — reunited with his Adele.
    Our condolences to all whose lives were better for knowing Babe.
    X0 Debbie and Bob

  10. Ruth Sachs and Bill Salisbury said,

    02.06.15 at 1:32 pm

    I have known Babe since Beth and I were freshmen at Smith College and our fathers roomed together during father-daughter weekend. There must have been something in that room to enable two sweet and loving men to live past 100. I have so many wonderful memories of seeing Beth at her parents’ home in the years since…it was truly a gathering place for family and friends, full of candy, flowers, book discussions, photos and boasts about grandchildren. Babe lived the life we all want to live, and he deserved every blessed minute of it. May he radiate joy in heaven as he did in life. Much love, Ruth and Bill

  11. Barbara Perlmutter said,

    02.06.15 at 11:24 pm

    Dear Beth,

    I remember your father fondly from all those years ago when we were high school kids and he welcomed us so warmly into your home—-always filled with love. He lived a wonderful life. I know this is a sad time, but I hope you and your family find comfort knowing how loved he was and how much joy you gave him.

    Thinking of you and sending love,
    Barbara and Lou

  12. Steve Miller said,

    02.07.15 at 6:36 pm

    I have such beautiful memories of Babe and Adele from visiting my grandmother (Syl) over the years. The term gentleman isn’t used much these days but it fits Babe perfectly. He really was the epitome of a fun, loving, kind, and caring person. He lived such a wonderful life and touched so many people. I’ll miss you Babe.

    My condolences and best wishes go out to the Gordon Family.