On the afternoon of September 1, 2013, Gordon passed away after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, while being tended by familiar and caring staff at The Terraces nursing home in Los Altos, California. He was 87 years old.
Gordon Halliday was born in the town of Pittsburg, Kansas, on May 27, 1926. He was the first child, and the first of three sons, of Amy Brandenburg and Dr. Glen Halliday. Gordon knew at an early age, as he proclaimed to friends and family, that he would someday be a doctor. After graduating from Pittsburg High School in 1943, he attended Pittsburg State Teachers College, in Pittsburg until late 1945 when Uncle Sam came calling. In the Army, he was first trained as an Infantryman at Fort Hood, Texas, and then as a Cryptanalyst Technician for the Signals Intelligence Service. While at Arlington Hall, Virginia, he was involved in the deciphering of captured German communications. Upon discharge from the Army he quickly completed his undergraduate degree in Biology and moved to Wyoming (to be near famed fly fishing rivers) and taught high school Science for a year. Following that, he attended medical school at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where he met Donna Beth Clark. On November 7, 1952 Gordon and Donna were married, in the campus chapel in Lawrence. Upon Graduation from medical school in June, 1954, Gordon participated in a medical internship, followed by an Internal Medicine residency in Portland, Oregon. Gordon and Donna moved to Los Altos in 1960, with their three children, John, Rich and Beth, where Gordon and his brothers Roger and Arthur set up an Internal Medicine practice. Gordon and Donna’s family grew by two additional sons, Chris and Tom, after the move to Los Altos. These last two sons continue the Halliday tradition as medical professionals.
In 1964, Gordon, Roger and Arthur moved their medical practice to 778 Altos Oaks, where they continued to practice together until Gordon’s retirement in the early 1990’s. During the Vietnam War he also found time to care for wounded soldiers recently returned from Vietnam. Following retirement from private practice, he again practiced medicine part time at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, until he fully retired.
In addition to family and the profession of medicine, Gordon’s interests were diverse and included a love of well written novels, especially by Hemingway, fly fishing on the streams and rivers of the western United States, traveling with family and friends, driving his Porsche 911, taking evening walks in his Los Altos neighborhood, befriending every dog he ever met, playing tennis, and listening to classical music. Until declining health prevented him from doing so, Gordon was especially fond of outdoor adventures, particularly to mountainous locations and to the coast of northern California. The town and beach of Carmel was his favorite.
Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Donna, and children John (Linda), Rich, Beth, Chris and Tom (Lisa), as well as grandchildren Rachel, Clayton, Paul and Allison. Gordon is also survived by brothers Roger (Kay) and Arthur (Judy) as well nieces in nephews in California, Missouri, Texas and Florida.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos. The address is 399 South San Antonio Road. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may make a contribution to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
Special gratitude is expressed to family members and the staff at The Terraces of Los Altos who helped to tirelessly and expertly care for Gordon in his later years.