Cecile Helena Gordon


Cecile Helena (Hemsley) Gordon died peacefully at her home in Oak Bluffs on Monday, October 27, 2014, at the age of 88.

Cecile was born on October 19, 1926, to Marion and Christopher Hemsley of Boston. Educated in the Boston Public School system, she graduated from Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls at the young age of 16. She was a long-standing member of the Berea Seventh Day Adventist Church in Roxbury.

In the early 1940s Cecile met, and shortly thereafter married, H. Lynn Gordon II. The couple had a son, H. Lynn III, and a daughter, Gayle Helena.

Cecile had a long, successful career as Manager of Community Affairs at the New England Telephone Company. In 1990, she attended classes in Urban Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, where she earned a masters degree.

Very active in the Boston community, Cecile served as President of the Freedom House in Roxbury; served on the Draft Board in the early 1960s; was the past Matron of the Celestial Chapter #6 Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Grand Chapter, Grove Hall. Cecile served on the Board of the United Way; was President of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Greater Boston; and was an active member of the Circle-Lets, Inc. In 1987, she received the Outstanding Contributor Award from the Board of Hope and the Hispanic Leadership Development Project. In 1990 she was the proud recipient of the 61st Annual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews

In 2005, Cecile became a year-round resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where she peacefully lived until her death.

Cecile leaves her children, H. Lynn Gordon III of Oak Bluffs and Gayle Gordon Rogers of Oak Bluffs and Eastham; two sisters, Yvonne Wrenn (Curtis) of Glendale, Calif., and Elayne Billups (Bill) of Bronxville, N.Y.; her loving cousin, Emily Robertson of Oak Bluffs; and two granddaughters, Kimberly Rogers, and Courtney Rogers Werner (Bryan), both of Las Vegas, Nevada; five great grandchildren, two nieces, and a host of relatives, friends, and colleagues.

Cecile will be fondly remembered for her sense of style, gardening, interior decorating, and her zest for reading and travel.

In lieu of flowers, donations made in Cecile’s name to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, P. O. Box 6012, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9805, would be greatly appreciated.

A spring memorial service will be planned.