GORDON NETHERCUT | News, Sports, Jobs
Gordon Nethercut, a dedicated family man, professional leader and community worker, passed away peacefully on Good Friday April 2, 2021 at the age of 92 after several months of declining health. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Vernie, his three children – Cynthia Nethercut (husband Joseph Altonji) of Madison, Connecticut; John Nethercut (wife Sonie) of Baltimore, Maryland; and William (Bill) Nethercut of Ossineke, Michigan; and three grandchildren – Matthew Altonji, Justin Nethercut and Mary Altonji. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert (and wife Jean) Nethercut, of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Gordon was born June 28, 1928 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Donald and Helen (Porch) Nethercut. He graduated from Elyria High School (Ohio) in 1946 and Denison University in 1950 with a BA in Economics. At Denison, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Brotherhood, the Blue Key Honor Society, and Beta Alpha Psi (an accounting honor society). He was a loyal former student of Denison and attended meetings in his 80s. He was the former president of the Detroit West Denison Alumni Club.
Gordon was a Korean War veteran, serving two years in the United States Army as a combat infantryman with the Third Infantry Division and as an Assistant Staff Chaplain at Eighth Army Headquarters .
After completing his military duty, he returned to the United States and married Vernie Schmitkons of Elyria, Ohio, in 1953. He also enrolled in the University of Michigan School of Business Administration and obtained an MBA in 1954. His first employer was Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Detroit for eight years. He became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1958.
In search of a job that required less travel in order to spend time with his family, he joined Warren Young in 1962 as a partner of Warren Young & Company from Alpena and moved his young family to Alpena. After being proud of his firm’s growth and services for 33 years, Gordon retired from Nethercut, Cernat, Straley & Ilsley (now Straley, Lamp & Kraenzlein) in 1995. He was a member of several accounting firms and the Northeast Michigan Economic Club.
Gordon was a calm, wise and supportive presence in the lives of his children. The grandchildren and Uncle Bill all have fond memories of Camp Nethercut – a week doing many of the same things their parents did – camping, canoeing, touring Mackinac Island, eating Lud’s burgers, spitting watermelon and going to plays. Despite their distant family, Gordon and Vernie have always made sure that they all get together regularly for family vacations and events. Gordon and Vernie still flew for these family reunions until they were 90 years old.
Gordon was active in the United Church of Christ on four levels – the local church (First Congregational UCC of Alpena), United Northern Association, Michigan Conference, and two national church councils. For this varied service to his church, and for his service on many special committees of state and national churches, he received the Harold Skidmore Award in 1998. He was recently recognized for singing in the church choir for 50 years.
He served on the board of directors of LARCC d’Alpena (Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic and Congregationalist) for many of his formative years. He was also appointed to the board of directors of Heifer International in 2001 and served for four years.
Gordon has always enjoyed working and socializing with his fellow Lions and has been an active member for almost 60 years. He was past president of Lions Club Alpena and first secretary-treasurer of Lions District 11E-2 cabinet. He received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award; led the Lions Sight First II campaign, in which Alpena Lions won district and state honors; received the Lions International Life Membership Award at the age of 90 in 2018; and was a senior reporter for the Lions Club Alpena on the Alpena News from 1996 to 2019.
Finally, Gordon believed it was important to contribute to his community. He was a founding member of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan in 1974. He has also served as a trustee emeritus and past president of the Community Foundation. He was active in the Community Chorus; Cub and Boy Scouts, serving for several years as district finance president; and Alpena Community College (ACC), as a member of the trainers group of the ACC Board of Directors. For several years he taught a course in local government accounting to ACC Township Clerks and Treasurers for Michigan State University.
Throughout his life, Gordon has been proud to write stories for his many organizations.
With Vernie, they made 11 Elderhostel trips (now Road Scholar); attended many Association of Lifelong Learners (ALL) classes; and founded what is believed to be one of Alpena’s most enduring couples’ book clubs.
A private memorial service for the immediate family will be held at the Congregation’s First UCC in Alpena on Friday April 9 at 11 am, Reverend Dr. H. Robert Case will officiate. Guests are invited to join by live broadcast via a link which can be found at uccalpena.org The memorial service will be recorded on YouTube. Arrangements are provided by Bannan Funeral Home.
It is suggested that donations in Gordon’s memory be sent to the First Congregational UCC of Alpena or the Alpena Lions Club Memorial Fund.