A humble man who enjoyed spending time with family and taking pictures
MELROSE Gordon R. Parsons of Melrose passed away peacefully at home while surrounded by family on October 10, 2021. ‘Gordy’ was the beloved husband of 58 years to Marilyn (Voss) Parsons. Cherished and loving father to Sandra Rideout and her husband, Nicholas, of Melrose and Lori Marcotte and her husband, James, of Reading. He was loving papa to Francis Rideout and his wife, Samantha, of Waltham and Emily, Rebekah and James Marcotte of Reading. Dearest big brother to Ruth (Parsons) King and her husband, Brian, of Wilmington and brother-in-law to William Voss of Bonita Springs, Florida. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.

Gordon was born on June 9, 1938 and raised in Everett by his parents, the late Clarence and Marjorie Parsons. He attended Northeastern University, earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Materials. He served in the United States Army and Army Reserves, and spent his entire 37-year career working for the Defense Department at the Army Materials and Mechanics Research Center (previously in Watertown). There, he served as Director of Composite Materials Development and Research and worked closely with the Secret Service. He was integrally involved in the development of transport systems including bullet-resistant Presidential limousines, AH-64A Apache Helicopter, Marine Corps Amphibian Vehicles, the M-1 Tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. This work garnered multiple professional publications, awards and recognition including Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1985) and Secret Service Director’s Award upon his retirement (1995).

Despite these achievements, he was a humble man whose greatest joy was found with his wife, Marilyn, and their family. He particularly looked forward to vacations on Cape Cod, where they shared a small cottage with his sister’s family and built years of memories. He cherished these simple getaways with time to read a book, walk the beach and enjoy many good meals with his family. He regularly travelled to Arizona for work and vacation, enjoyed trips to New Hampshire and Bermuda. When not spending time with family, Gordy could be found “puttering” in the yard, working on a project, tending his beautiful gardens or carefully stacking wood. An amateur photographer, he meticulously documented his many projects, but especially loved taking pictures of his family and grandchildren. He could always be found on the sidelines or stands cheering his children and grandchildren on. He adored his family and was fiercely loyal to his friends and colleagues.

Relatives and friends were invited to gather during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, October 14 from 4-8 p.m. (masks optional), and for his funeral service at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose celebrated on Friday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. (masks required). Interment with military honors by the US Army at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. In lieu of flowers, consider donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452, www.alz.org or the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose MA 02176. For online tribute, please visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.