Gordon Michael Garlock, predeceased by his parents, Col. Carlton and Guelda Garlock of Marysville, Calif., passed away at home on Jan. 31 in Phoenix where he had lived for 23 years He is survived by eight brothers and sisters, 13 nephews and nieces, and 16 great-nephews and nieces and his uncle, Harold Allen, who lives in Hamburg, N.Y.
He is reunited with his parents, grandparents, Gordon and Jessie Allen, and Lottie and Frank Heim, and his uncle Gordon Allen.
Gordon was born in Fort Dix, N.J., and grew up there and at McClellan and Beale Air Force bases in California and graduated from Wheatland High School in 1978. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982. He was an F-16 fighter pilot and T-38 instructor and had a tour in Korea before leaving the military and joining FedEx as a pilot in 1990. He married Dawn from Memphis. They settled in Ahwatukee. They were married from 1994 to 2002.
Gordon was sentimental and family-oriented. His exceptional intelligence, humor and generosity of spirit endeared him to those he met. He will be greatly missed. He nurtured relationships with friends from each phase of his life. He was an avid golfer and excelled at that as in most things he undertook. He really loved the Christmas season and decorated his house elegantly every year and invited family, friends, and neighbors to view the Christmas lights in Phoenix every year.
He was the first to congratulate each member of the “big guys” upon graduation from the Air Force Academy. He organized and enjoyed “sports weekend” activities for his family and friends during spring training for nearly 20 years. He was Uncle Gordon for many families and was loved by people everywhere.
He loved to teach and help people succeed whether it was helping a student pilot advance, a friend’s son study math, a team member make a better golf shot, or an opponent improve his strategy for Texas hold’em.
His professional achievements are impressive. His performance reviews often stated he was the “best pilot in the squadron.” His intelligence and patience were demonstrated when he was asked to help negotiate contracts for the pilot’s union and FedEx.
Gordon loved being a pilot. He was respected by his colleagues and loved by his friends. While he was ill, friends and colleagues visited from throughout his lifetime and helped lift his spirits and make him comfortable. That was a true testament to his impact on the lives of his friends and family.
His unconditional love of family, fun-loving spirit, pursuit of justice, loyalty, and dependability defined his personality. He was exceptional. He will be missed by all.
Send any donations in his honor to the American Cancer Society to help with a cure for lung cancer or the Guelda Garlock Memorial Scholarship fund at Coral Academy of Science, 1350 E. Ninth St., Reno, Nev., 89512.
Please join us in celebration of his life at a memorial mass to take place at St. Benedict Church, 16223 S. 48th St. in Phoenix, on Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m. with a lunch reception following the mass at the Foothills Golf Club, 2201 E. Clubhouse Drive.