Gordon Wendell Plumblee Obituary

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Mr. Gordon Wendell Plumblee, 75, of Burlington, North Carolina, died October 6, 2022 at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. Born in the Anderson community of Caswell County, North Carolina on September 2, 1947, he was the son of Mary Elizabeth (Chandler) Plumblee and Mr. Millard Quentin “MQ” Plumblee, both deceased.

Gordon is survived by his wife, Janice Little Plumblee, of Burlington and family: children, Bonnie Richardson, of Charlotte, NC and Paul Richardson (Irene), of Raleigh, NC; brother, Mark Little (Brown); granddaughters, Dorian and Camryn; and nieces, Emily, Carol Rose and Grace. Gordon treasured his moments with his many dear cousins. He was predeceased by his brother, Byron Cornell Plumblee.

Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mars Hill University in 1969, and in the fall of that year began a 35-year career teaching biology at Western Alamance High School (WAHS) in Elon, in North Carolina. In 1973, he received his master’s degree in teaching biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also received an advanced 6th grade certification in science education from East Carolina University.

Throughout his career, Gordon has received numerous awards for his teaching, including Outstanding Biology Teacher awards from the National Association of Biology Teachers (1979) and Alamance County Teacher of the Year (1983) . For much of his teaching career, Gordon was an advisor to the National Honor Society and a photographer for WAHS. As a photographer, Gordon has also shot weddings and special events in the community. Gordon had an insatiable love for gardening throughout his life. In retirement, he was known for his incredibly productive garden and his generosity in sharing what he harvested, an effort, in his words, to “feed the community.” He has also enjoyed traveling with Janice, especially their trip to Cambodia and Vietnam (2017) and their recent trip to her ancestral home in Locking, England (2022). Throughout, his passion for biology and learning never ceased.

Students, family and community knew Gordon for his passion for learning and teaching. Gordon taught with an unwavering belief that all of his students shared his joy and desire to learn. Gordon didn’t just teach, he inspired. His passion for learning extended to everyone he met. Once he got to know a person’s interest, often an interest he had sparked, a valuable relationship began. Gordon would direct his research and learning, cultivated by the pile of reading material always at his side, and share the nuggets of knowledge with those dear to him.

As a person, Gordon was the best friend anyone could have. He was the man of confidence of the family, the neighborhood and the community. To know Gordon is to be indebted to him in many ways, if not countless ways – a thought that would never have crossed his mind. He will leave both a huge void and a huge legacy to those who were lucky enough to know and love him. Students and friends will miss his unique, amphibian-like laugh that often ended a sentence of his wisdom.

The memorial service will be held at the ELCA Lutheran Church of Macedonia, 421 W Front St, Burlington, NC on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 11 a.m. by Pastor Jerome Cloninger. The family will receive friends at the Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service in Burlington on Friday, October 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Community Foundation of Dan River Region, Plumblee Scholarship Fund, a fund supporting Caswell County High School graduates, with a preference for those planning to attend a college in four years (cfdrr.org / 434-793-0884).

The family would like to give special thanks to medical oncology specialist Dr. Brad Sherrill and his staff in Greensboro for their care.

Condolences may be submitted at www.richandthompson.com.

Posted on October 08, 2022

Published in the Burlington Times News

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