Monday, June 17, 2019

John (Jack) H. VanGorden

Mr. VanGorden was born in Meshoppen, PA on May 25, 1899 the oldest son of Grant G. and Grace Smith VanGorden and he died on April 7, 2012 after a long and successful business career. He was a 1916 graduate of Meshoppen High School and a 1921 graduate of Bliss Electrical School, now part of Montgomery College in Washington, D.C. He and his wife Emma Agnes Patterson were married for seventy seven years. Mrs. VanGorden was a member of the Binghamton Eastern Star, and Daughters of the Nile. She was also a member of the Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church.

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Mr. VanGorden was employed by the IBM Corporation in Broome County, NY for forty two years holding numerous executive positions including Divisional National Service Manager which enabled him to travel to every state in the country. He was a member of the Binghamton Lodge #177 Free and Accepted Masons, Binghamton Chapter No. 139, Royal Arch Masons, Binghamton Council No. 24 Royal and Select Masters, and Malta Commandery No. 21 Knights Templar. Other Masonic affiliations included the Royal Order of Scotland and the Kalurah Temple AAONMS Shrine. In 1957 Jack received the 33rd degree from the Supreme Council. He was both an active and emeritus member of the Supreme Council. He was also a recipient of the Gourgas Medal. The library at the Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, MA was constructed and named in Jack’s honor.

He was a trustee of Alfred University, Keuka College, and Houghton College. He also supported Broome Community College and SUNY Binghamton. He served on many boards of directors, especially the United Methodist Homes for the Aging of the Wyoming Conference where he resided for thirty one years. He took great pride in his philanthropic endeavors and he anonymously supported several charities and needy individuals.

Upon his passing his estate established a trust to support his favorite charities including a college scholarship to benefit students from the Meshoppen area. This portion of his estate has been passed to The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains to establish the Meshoppen High Alumni Association Scholarship to continue offering tuition assistance to students graduating from Elk Lake High School or the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center who reside in Meshoppen Borough, Meshoppen Township, or Auburn Township in the hope they will follow in Mr. VanGorden’s footsteps of a fruitful career and community service.

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