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Gordon Gary Scoville
July 18, 1954 ~ October 3, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
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Gordon Gary Scoville was born to Russell and Berniece Scoville on July 18, 1954, in Wolf Point, Montana. He died on October 3rd, 2023, at his home in Milford, NE. He married Marie Gotfredson of Broadus, Montana, on October 3rd, 1992.
Gordon was an avid scholar, earning a bachelors, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate. Gordon’s Scholarship was most evident in his book, Into the Vacuum: Being the Church in an Age of Barbarism (1998). He rarely mentioned it, but felt deeply grateful, when in 1976 he graduated from Montana State University with Phi Kappa Phi honors.
Gordon was steadfast in his loyalty to the Christian church, serving as a pastor in the United Church of Christ for three years. He joined the Mennonites in 1994, attending the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (1994-1996). He was ordained at Salem Mennonite Church, Freeman, South Dakota, on June 7, 1998. He was captivated by processes of change and transition. So, in fifteen different congregations, he cultivated specialization in intentional interim ministry, serving churches in Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, New York, Nebraska, Ontario, Idaho, Ohio, Washington, and Iowa.
Gordon was shaped spiritually by Dr. Marvin C. Shaw, professor of religious studies at Montana State University; by Wendy Vischer, renowned Quaker from Bozeman, Montana; and by the Anabaptist heritage. Their combined influence distilled, for Gordon, in the classical Mennonite teaching of gelassenheit (yieldedness, letting it be). To Gordon, the root of all human difficulty resided in overreaching effort to control the future. Hence, the need to let it be, to let go. But from his father he also learned a deep respect for the American labor movement, for solidarity, and for the conviction that economic justice requires concerted action to hold the powers that be accountable.
He was preceded in death by all the cloud of witnesses on the family of faith. He was preceded as well by Russell and Berniece, and by his brother James. He is survived by the family of faith. Note especially his sister-in-law, Rose, and his nephew, Nole, and his niece, Elizabeth. On this day Gordon is mindful of the precious memories shared with his old friend, Michael W. Gard. Finally, Gordon is survived forever by Jesus of Nazareth, God’s favorite one.
In honor of his father, Gordon requests that any memorial gifts be given to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). AFSCME provided. As per the labor movement generally, the indispensable support for the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. Late in his life Gordon relied on both of them.
A Memorial Service for Gordan will be on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the Bellwood Mennonite Church in Milford, Nebraska.