March 15, 2018
CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) community is marking the passing of Robert C. Gordon, DDS, a member of the MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees since April 2017. Dr. Gordon, 75, died on Thursday, March 8, at his home after an extended illness. He had been an Orangeburg dentist since 1972 and was representing the Sixth District during his work on the board.
On Friday, March 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 185 Boulevard Street, Orangeburg, South Carolina, the following organizations will conduct their memorial services: Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and The Links, Inc.
Memorial services and a celebration of Dr. Gordon’s life will be held on Saturday, March 17, at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Interment services will follow immediately at Belleville Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg.
Born on August 15, 1942, in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, to the late Robert L. and Ruth Cooper Gordon, Robert Calvin Gordon was the third of five children. He was educated in Williamsburg County schools. He graduated from Benedict College with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1963, and went on to earn a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Howard University in 1969.
Dr. Gordon taught science for two years in Greenwood, South Carolina, before attending dental school. He was commissioned into the United States Army as a 1st Lieutenant in April 1969, where he practiced on active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until 1972. He served in the United States Army Reserve for 24 years as a dentist retiring as a Colonel in 1996. Dr. Gordon and his family moved to Orangeburg in 1972, where he worked in a mobile dental unit for the health department. He was the longest practicing dentist in Orangeburg having served patients in the community for 45 years. He started his private practice in 1973, and practiced until June 2017.
Raised in Bethesda Methodist Church, Dr. Gordon was a faithful member of Trinity United Methodist Church where he served for many years on the finance committee. He was a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He was a member of several professional organizations including the Edisto Dental Study Club, South Carolina Dental Association, American Dental Association, National Dental Association, International College of Dentists, and the Palmetto State Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association. He served as the first African American president of the Orangeburg chapter of the Kiwanis International. He was on the Board of Visitors at Claflin University and the Board of Trustees at the Medical University of South Carolina.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Gordon was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Catherine Matthews Gordon; brother, Dr. Rudolph Giles Gordon, Sr.; and sister, Joyce Loraine Gordon.
Dr. Gordon is survived by his daughters Donna Gordon Green (Gregory) of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Audrey Elaine Gordon (Northan Golden) of Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Helen Gordon Gary (Brian) of Montgomery, Alabama; one sister, Jo Emily Knox (Nathaniel) of Columbia, Maryland; one brother, William Gilbert Gordon of Atlanta, Georgia; three sisters-in-law, Margie Giles of Lane, South Carolina, Glenda Tucker (Frank) of Columbia, South Carolina, and Vivian Matthews of Greeleyville; grandchildren, David, Joseph, Alexis, and Lila Green of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Robert and Matthew Golden of Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Claire Gary and Brian Gary, Jr. of Montgomery, Alabama; one aunt, Delsenia Gordon of Kingstree, South Carolina; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.4 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2017, for the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit MUSChealth.org.