GORDON WILLIAM PETHERICK

Gordon William Petherick, a philanthropist and entrepreneur, was an only child who came as an early Christmas present to his parents, a housewife and a Methodist minister, Gladys and William Petherick, on December 24th 1928, and continued to give his charity, love, friendship, loyalty, sincerity, and honesty to his family, friends, and his community all of his life until he passed on 4/30/2018.

He is survived by his wife, Audrey Petherick, his daughter and son-in-law Susan and Jim Magnus, granddaughter Jamie and her husband, Rob, his grandson Chris and his wife, Alyssa, and his four great grandchildren, Mickey, Lainey Sue, Grady, and Brooke. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved son, Jimmy, who died in 1978.

Gordon learned a mechanically compassionate work ethic that he was able to pass on to his family at an early age. He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and lived in North Prairie, Burlington, and Watertown where he began selling the Saturday Evening Post at age 11. At age 13, he worked after school and Saturdays at Kresge Five and Ten cent store as a stock boy, and at age 15 he worked as a stock boy at A&P in Marinette. He also drove a laundry truck for Star Laundry at age 16. We are grateful that he continued this work ethic throughout his life, as it can be seen in his accomplishments, and we are thankful that he was able to share it with, and teach it to his family.

He graduated high school in 1946 and enlisted in the Army where he was stationed in Alaska. He served three years, and was discharged in 1948. He was a great patriot who loved America and greatly believed in God and this great nation. He contributed great charity to our soldiers and first responders, and remembered them in his prayers before meals and before bed. He was able to begin college where he attended and graduated from Michigan State University in 1952. He taught us to never stop learning and to continue to broaden our horizons through our entire lives.

In 1949 he married his high school sweetheart, the beautiful, sweet, and everloving, Miss Audrey Marie Hammer to whom he was always a gentleman. This was his one and only marriage, as his wife Audrey was the only woman he ever loved. It was inspiring to see his eyes smile as the school boy wonder and charm sparkled in them while he told us a story about how they met, or a dance they went to, while we listened on the couch. He always reminded us how important Audrey was to his success, and how much he cherished her love, support, guidance and friendship.

In 1953 they had a son named Jim, and in 1956 they had a daughter named Susie, both whom he loved very much. He was a gentle, loving, mentoring, and understanding father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His family was always his number one priority and he demonstrated by example how he wanted his family to live their lives. We strive to be like him in all we do.

Upon graduating from college, Gordon started a small retail window business that paid the rent, but not much more, so he joined the Texaco Oil Company as a sales associate in 1954. In 1959, he bought a very small oil business with a partner in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Two and a half years later, he bought out his partner, and continued with his one truck operation delivering oil and gas to homes, farms, and businesses for thirty years. During that thirty year period, Gordon bought out thirty other oil companies and began a video distribution business that serviced the US and Canada with over 3,000 retail outlets. He taught us that while we ought to work hard, and hard work is rewarded, that we also ought to humbly thank God for the many blessings He bestows upon our family every day.

Gordon served on the State Wholesale Advisory Board of Mobil Oil Corporation for two years and was elected to the Regional Board for two years. His next step was his election to the National Board where he served for one year.

He was also very involved with his community. Some Sundays he taught Sunday school, and he even gave several sermons. He served as president of his Kiwanis Club for one year from 1968- 1969 and he also started the Petherick Foundation, which aided disenfranchised locals and donated to international charities anonymously. One cause he and his wife Audrey were particularly active with was the search for a cure for Type One Diabetes.

Gordon moved to Florida in 1988 after selling the oil business and built a home in Bonita Springs, where he invested in, and developed two self storage facilities and a retail shopping center with the help of his family.

He belonged to the Pine Hills Country Club as well as the Bonita Bay Club and was an avid golfer, winning several tournaments through the years. Gordon enjoyed traveling as well. He flew around the world with his wife twice and took many smaller trips. In 1978 he bought a condominium on the beach in Grand Cayman where he spent many, many wonderful days with Audrey, and numerous vacations with his family. He had many wonderful friends in the Cayman Islands, Sweden, Wisconsin, Florida, and all over the United States. He was always grateful for the love and devotion his friends showed him.

We are lucky to have had such a man to teach us, care for us, worry about us, spend time with us, and most of all love us. He will be with us always through his teachings, in our thoughts, and in our prayers. He is exceptionally loved and will be missed deeply, but never forgotten.

If you would like to leave a note to the family, please go to FortMyersMemorial.com, click on recent obituaries, look for Gordon, click on guest book, and submit your message.

The family will hold a private, family celebration of Gordon’s life. In lieu of flowers or donations, we ask that you remember the brave men and women in our armed forces, as well as our courageous first responders, in your prayers, and we ask that you spend a moment, today specifically, to talk with God, and thank Him for the many blessings in your life.


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