Barbara's Story

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Barbara Ann Thornton Gordon age 78 of Athens, passed away Sunday, February 5, 2017 at Athens Limestone Hospital. Mrs. Gordon was born August 16, 1938 in Limestone County, AL to Roy Lee Thornton and Birdie Eaves Thornton.
Services will be Wednesday, February 8, 2017 2:00 p.m., at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home with Bill Irby, Franklin Thornton, David Gordon, and Mike Ermert officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery.
Barbara's life was as pure an example of Christ-like service as anyone could imagine. Following the example of her mother, Birdie Thornton, for whom the ARC of Limestone County Birdie Thornton Center is named, Barbara filled her days finding ways to help those in need, whether it was delivering delicious home cooked meals, visiting the sick and bereaved, or providing canned vegetables from her extensive garden.
Barbara was loved and cherished by her family. Raised in Athens as one of seven siblings, Barbara married Malcolm (Flash) Gordon, on September 18, 1957, enjoying over 59 years together. After a brief period of time living in Texas during Malcolm's Army years, Barbara returned to Athens and raised a family. Her daughter, Lori, was trained as a Medical Technologist at UAB, and is married to Mike Ermert, a Birmingham attorney. Her son, David, who has developed a highly regarded reputation as a specialty carpenter, is married to Kelli Bowers Gordon, who works at TVA Credit Union. Malcolm was employed most of his life as a TVA welder, working across the TVA service area at a number of locations before retiring from Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. Later in life, Barbara went back to school, earning her LPN certification and working many years as the office nurse for Dr. James Smith, a long-time Athens pediatrician that preceded her in death by a matter of days.
One of the greatest joys of Barbara's life was her four grandchildren. Each of them has grown up knowing they were deeply loved by Barbara. Amanda and her husband, Philip, work in the Quad Cities and reside in Killen. Laura is employed in Nashville, Margaret Alice studies in Tuscaloosa, and Anne Lauren is in middle school in Birmingham.
Anyone who knew Barbara witnessed a tireless work ethic and an amazing, sweet-hearted life lived in the service of others, whether her family, friends and acquaintances, or even total strangers. Many people considered Barbara to be their best friend. She was everything to everybody.
This devotion to her family and others was the result of deeply held Christian faith. She and Malcolm worshipped for decades at the West Hobbs Street Church of Christ, rarely missing any service, whether on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesdays, or any time a special meeting was taking place.
Survived by her husband, Malcolm W. (Flash) Gordon of Athens; daughter, Lori Ann Ermert and husband, Mike, of Birmingham; son, David W. Gordon and wife, Kelli, of Athens; grandchildren, Amanda Gordon Abernathy and husband, Phillip, Laura Gordon, Margaret Alice Ermert, and Anne Lauren Ermert; siblings, Franklin Thornton and wife, Telula, of Hartselle; Ruby Smith and husband, Buddy, of Athens; Nancy Abernathy of Athens; J.B. Thornton and wife, Marcella, of Hazel Green; Roy Alan Thornton of Athens; and Susan Harper and husband, Richard, of Birmingham.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the ARC of Limestone County, Birdie Thornton Center, and 2305 Hine St S, Athens, Alabama. The Birdie Thornton Center, named in honor of Barbaras mother, serves developmentally or intellectually disabled persons, helping them learn valuable skills that allow them to become more independent.

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Published on February 6, 2017
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