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Maine Warden Service Pilot Daryl R. Gordon Remembered for Public Service

March 30, 2011


284 State St., SHS 41, Augusta, ME 04333 Main Number: (207) 287-8000

MEDIA: For more information, call IF&W Spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte at (207) 287-6008 or (207) 592-1164


Maine Warden Service Pilot Daryl R. Gordon Remembered for Public Service

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife today joined with family and friends of Maine Warden Service Pilot Daryl R. Gordon to celebrate his life and commemorate his public service at a funeral service at the Augusta Civic Center.

“The celebration of life ceremony truly reflected the person many people came to love and respect,” said Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. “Daryl worshipped God, loved his family with all of his heart, and was dedicated in service to the people of Maine and its visitors. He, like his fellow game wardens, worked in dangerous conditions because he cared about others and their safety. He will be missed by all.”

Pilot Gordon, a 25-year Maine Warden Service veteran, died in the line of duty as the result of a plane crash on Thursday, March 24, 2011, on Clear Lake in northern Piscataquis County. He served as district game warden for 18 years before being promoted to game warden pilot, a position that gave him the most happiness in his career for seven years, flying out of the George E. Townsend Seaplane Base at Eagle Lake in Aroostook County.

“Clear Lake was a favorite location for Daryl, who enjoyed recreating on Clear Lake,” said Maine Warden Service Col. Joel Wilkinson, Chief Game Warden, who spoke at the ceremony. “Daryl died doing what he loved best in an area he loved best, and this is a day that will forever be remembered, a date now etched in the hearts of the entire Warden Service.”

Pilot Gordon is survived by his wife of 35 years, Rita, and two sons, Daryl Jr. and his wife Kelly of Canaan, and James III and his girlfriend Sarah Tischart of St. Albans. He also is survived by his mother, Camilla Nutter and her husband George Harold Nutter of St. Albans; stepmother Sharon West and her husband Jerrill of Hartland; brothers Dale and Trevor Gordon, both of St. Albans, George “Tommy” Nutter of Ripley and David Nutter of Benton; and sisters Helen Snowman of Hartland, Holli Stedman and Bonnie Lawrence, both of St. Albans; and all of their children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Approximately 2,000 people attended today’s ceremony, which was a representation of Pilot Gordon’s law enforcement career. Honor guards from local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies based in Maine and from numerous northeast states and Canada provinces joined the Maine Warden Service in a procession to escort Pilot Gordon’s casket. More than 600 officers were present and all were wearing a black badge covers on their badges, a symbol of mourning for a fellow officer.

The service was officiated by Pastor David Michaud of Hartland First Baptist Church and Pastor Gary Gardner of Mountain View Bible Church. Col. Wilkinson reflected on Pilot Gordon’s life as a Maine Game Warden, Maine State Police Lt. Mark Brooks gave a eulogy, Jarod Stedman, a nephew of Pilot Gordon, shared family memories, and Game Warden Bill Livezey, on behalf of Daryl Jr., gave a son’s reflection of his father.

Spouses of Maine Warden Service members presented Mrs. Gordon with 125 white roses, one for each of Maine’s game wardens and warden service employees.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage and representatives for U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree attended the service.

Many individuals and organizations have expressed their condolences to the Gordon family and the department.

Dean Varney, the son of fallen Warden Pilot Richard Varney, who died in the line of duty on Sept. 27, 1972, presented the Gordon family with an American flag that had been placed on his father’s casket. He asked if they would like to use his father’s flag in the service, and Mrs. Gordon graciously accepted. The folded flag was placed on the casket. Fifteen game wardens have died in the line of duty in the Maine Warden Service’s 131-year history.

On Tuesday, the Maine Legislature issued “Joint Resolution in Honor of Maine Game Warden Daryl R. Gordon, who Died in the Line of Duty,” at the request of Maine Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake. The Maine House of Representatives stood for a moment of silence after the resolution was read. Commissioner Woodcock, Deputy Commissioner Andrea Erskine, Col. Wilkinson and MWS Major Gregory Sanborn, deputy chief game warden, accepted the resolution on behalf of the Gordon family.

Maine Marine Patrol Officer Jodi McMahan presented the family and the Maine Warden Service with a pencil drawing of Pilot Gordon in uniform.

A reception followed the funeral at the Augusta Civic Center. A graveside service was held later in the evening at Maloon Cemetery in St. Albans. A convey of wardens escorted Pilot Gordon’s casket to the grave site. Arrangements were by Crosby & Neal Funeral Home in Newport.

Pilot Gordon was graduated from Hartland Academy in 1968. he served 18 months of active duty in the U.S. marines, with 12 of those months in Vietnam, where he was in command of a platoon of 12 Marines and 25 South Vietnamese soldiers. In May 1970, he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in combat. During his military service, Pilot Gordon also earned the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was honorably discharged at the rank of corporal in 1970.

In 1986, he joined the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as a district game warden, and served in the Calais, Lincoln, Skowhegan and Bingham districts. In 2009, he received an exemplary service award.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would like to sincerely thank all of the individuals and businesses that helped with the service: the Maine Warden Service Association, Maine State Police, Maine Troopers Association, Maine Forest Service, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine State Law Enforcement Association, Hartford First Baptist Church, Mountain View Bible Church, Dick Thurston, Poland Springs, Pine State Trading Co., WalMart, Hannaford, Subway, law enforcement agencies, organizations and businesses.