Surrounded by her loving family, Mary M. Gordon passed bravely and quietly from this life to the next at 2:24 pm on Thursday, Jan. 20, at her home in Port Clinton. Mary was born in Fremont on Dec. 11, 1950. Her parents Jesse and Julia Zambrano had come to Fremont to work in the fields and at the sugar beet plant. She attended St. Joseph Central Catholic school for all twelve years.
She started working at the Fashion Shop in downtown Fremont while still in high school. There Annie Rectenwald, the owner, mentored the young women who worked for her. It was there that Mary developed the sense of fashion that she displayed in every way every day of her life.
Mary became involved in improving downtown Fremont, an interest that she later carried to Port Clinton.
Mary came to Port Clinton in 1979. While working at the gift shop at the Island House Hotel, she met the new bartender with whom she would spend the rest of her life. Professional photographer Bill Gordon had come to Port Clinton to exchange his sailboat for a power boat which he could use to begin a marine photography business. He found more than he expected. The couple was wed–at the Island House–on January 23, 1982.
Together they wrote and illustrated Erie Islands Cruising Guide in 1984, followed by A Boating Guide to Western Lake Erie in 1994. They also authored and illustrated many articles for magazines and news papers. More recently they published An Historical Walking Tour of Downtown Port Clinton.
Mary served her community in many ways. She and Bill started Photomaker Studios in 1984 where they worked together for nearly forty years. Mary enjoyed getting to know entire families as they came in for portraits, high school senior pictures and weddings. In many cases Mary and Bill performed these services for multiple generations.
In 2002 Mary decided to work on the appearance of the downtown. She created the beautification committee to clean up the city and plant flowers. In 2003 she was instrumental in beginning the process of making Port Clinton a “Mainstreet Community.” She started Riverfront Live, the weekly, free outdoor music concert during the summer season.
Mary was preceded in death by her mother and father. She is survived by Bill Gordon, her husband of forty years, her sister Caroline (Scott) Evans of Avon Lake, her sister Toni (Smitty) Zambrano of Fremont, her sister Mary Ann Zambrano of Parker Dam, Calif., and her brother Joe (Sue) Zambrano of Portland, Ore., and many nieces and nephews from around the United States.
Mary loved boating, camping, traveling by train and reading novels. Most of all she loved people.
Mary fought the good fight, she kept the faith, she finished the race. God rest her soul.
Visitation will be held at the Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home, 216 Washington Street, Port Clinton, on Friday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. until Funeral Services at 1 p.m. with Fr. Jonathan Wight officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery, Port Clinton. Facemasks are recommended but not required.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, Ohio 44870. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com.