The story of Kevin Neil Gordon

16th September 1937 – 26th October 2014

Kevin was born in Cygnet and was the fifth child born to Trevor and Vera Gordon. Kevin spent his early childhood years growing up with his 11 brothers and sisters at Nicholas Rivulet.

Kevin’s family members each remember Kevin as a gentle soul, but life has not always been easy for him.

When Kevin was a child his disability and everyday life became more difficult, for him and for his family. It was decided that it was essential for Kevin to move to Willow Court, which in those days was called Lachlan Park.  This was a very difficult decision and time for the family. Kevin was 6 years old.

Without transport of their own, to go and visit Kevin, Trevor and Vera would arrange for the oldest Daughter Shirley to watch the children while they would travel on the bus service and then catch the train to New Norfolk.

Lachlan Park was to be Kevin’s home for the next 47 years, with few facilities, his care there was limited and very basic.

In 1991 a life changing break through came when Willow Court was closed and Kevin moved into a group home, in which he adjusted very well.

In the earlier days Kevin attended Parkside on a regular basis. There he excelled at craft and art activities.

The Gordon family sent thanks to all of the outstanding staff, past and present that cared for Kevin during his time at Parkside, the Carers at Kevin’s Lara street home, saying that “the Kindness showed to Kevin was exceptional”.

During his time living at Lara Street, Kevin had many opportunities he hadn’t had before. Kevin had trips to Melbourne, Adelaide and the East Coast of Tasmania. One of Kevin’s last trips recently was to Lune River where he rode the Ida Bay Railway.  These are just a few examples of the wonderful times that Kevin had, times Kevin’s mother and father would never have dreamt that Kevin would achieve.

Earlier this year Kevin’s brothers and sisters took him to the Burtons Reserve in the old home town of Cygnet where they had a family day and BBQ together. Lyn and Desie also had Kevin to their home recently to celebrate his 77th birthday.

Kevin was a real Gordon at heart. He loved his food and when he walked in to the kitchen he would go straight to the jug and tap it, indicating that a ‘cuppa’ would be good.

When the evening meal was cooking at the Lara Street house he would inspect each sauce pan by lifting the lid to see what was cooking. Kevin quietly enjoyed supervising in the kitchen.

Kevin really blossomed throughout his life and brought smiles to the faces of everyone around him, with his fantastic character and gentle sole, he will be greatly missed.

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In Loving Memory of Kevin Neil Gordon

Kevin was a much-loved resident at STAR Tasmania, and a well- regarded member of the Disability Community.  His gentle smile and his endearing presence touched everyone.

Here are a few words of remembrance from his Support Team (past and present) and other residents:

Lyn Swan wrote on Sunday, “Today has seen the passing of a truly beautiful and gentle soul.  How honoured I feel to be a part of his life.  Rest in peace Kevin.”

Belinda Sproule said, “I’ve always loved that Kevin had the determination to voice his opinions, and to get his way.  I loved his stubbornness and the way he always let his presence be known.”

Shelley Mangels said, “I miss him at the table and in the morning.  I also miss his lovely smile.”

Adam Wolstenholme said, “Kevin was a lovely gentle being who was a wonderful peaceful presence.  He relished life to the end.”

Peter Lloyd said, “I’ll never forget Kevin’s response to watching the John and Yoko on TV.  How he made me laugh.  He was a dear old soul.”

Annette Critchley said, “Kevin was a rogue of a gentleman with a loveable sense of humour.  His Cheshire Cat grin told you he knew when something was going on, and he could always orchestrate to have his way.”

Terese Vaughan said, “I saw Kevin as a grandfatherly figure, a handsome man with an irresistible smile”.

Julian O’Connell wrote, “Kevin was a very chilled relaxed man, who sat in that recliner like a king being amused by life as it slowly went by.  He was also playful and gentle, and made me feel a deep care for him.  Thank you for your presence in my life.”

Jasmym Wilson said, “Kevin was man of the house at Lara, a gentleman who smiled with his eyes.  I loved the way he relished the evening meal cooking, the way he would lift the lid, waft with his hand, and smell the food”.

Robyn Goward wrote, “Kevin so often had a look of peace and contentment on his face.  I will always remember the way he greeted everyone at the door and escorted them to the door as they left; his gentle way of “getting on” with everyone; and all his quirky characteristics, such as never using his bed, but dozing in his armchair throughout the night.  Kevin truly understood Lara was his home and we were his visitors.  Kevin will be so missed by us all.”

Lena Mitchell wrote, “I will remember Kevin’s visits to the office and the way he used his gentlemanly charms to get a cup of coffee and a biscuit …or 2 or 3! We will miss those visits.”

Tarne Thomas said, “I remember the way Kevin would hold hands when he was ready for staff to lead the way, to wherever he was going.  I also fondly recall his antics in coffee shops while he was waiting for his coffee to be made.  How he would direct the proceedings as he enjoyed watching his coffee being made.”

Julie Lawless wrote, “I will never forget the way Kevin managed his own situations in his own style, and how he endeared himself to others in so many ways. Kevin had a fabulous ability to occupy his own time at home, wandering around the yard at home, sitting in the sun, enjoying the texture of the plastic wrappers he kept in strategic places to revisit later. Kevin was a good bloke, with charming ways.”

Michael Glover wrote, “Kevin I miss you.  Don’t know what we will do without you at swimming in the spa bath.”

Helen Shelton said, “I feel blessed to have known Kevin.  I loved our dance together at the Spring Ball.”

Harjinder Kaur said, “I will miss Kevin waiting for his breakfast in the morning, at the start of the day.  And I will miss him watching me cook the evening meal, and waiting for his dinner.”

Don Schultz and Pam Latham send their condolences.

Our deepest sympathy and condolences to Kevin’s family and friends.  Kevin will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.




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