Gordon, Vance

We received word from the widow of Vance Gordon that Vance had passed away in January, 2015.  He had succumbed to ALS.   Below is the obituary that appeared in the Washington Post.   Please add any comments if you remember Vance.

November 3, 1945 – January 10, 2015

Vance Gordon

Vance Gordon left us on Saturday, January 10, 2015. He fought a valiant battle with ALS and maintained his dignity, his zest for life, and his sense of humor through his last waking moments.

He was in the Navy Medical Service Corps (with a Ph.D in Biology from Washington University) and spent the bulk of his Naval career developing ways to define and meet requirements for theater medical support. He was instrumental in the Navy decision to acquire a Hospital Ship as part of meeting those requirements. He was called up for Operation Desert Storm and supported the Surgeon General of the Navy to ensure effective allocation of Navy medical resources to support the theater.

After retiring from the Navy, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he applied his analytic skills to the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS), developing approaches to improve resource allocation decisions within the Department. He was recognized as an expert in this area and was invited to teach and lecture in many venues. He briefly accepted a job in the private sector, but quickly missed the analytic challenges and relevance of his work in the Department and so returned to DoD. He spent the last five years of his career at the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), where he was again called on to support analysis of resource allocation questions posed by DoD.

His favorite pursuits outside of work included cooking gourmet meals, creating his back-yard garden which he could later enjoy from his wheelchair, tennis (both playing and watching), and doing almost anything with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Norma St. Claire. He is also survived by his step-daughter, Laura St. Claire (Jim Thresher) and their children Ally St. Claire (Jason Shoemaker), Hannah Thresher (Morrgee Kumi) and Sam Thresher; and his step-son, Greg St. Claire (Katherine) and their children Amanda, Josie and Grant. He has one great-granddaughter, Sienna St. Claire Shoemaker.

A celebration of his life was held at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the two organizations that provided amazing support in his last year: Paralyzed Veterans of America and Capital Caring Hospice Services.

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 16, 2015


Below is one of Vance’s favorite photos with his family:

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