50th Anniversary Golden Nugget of the Week: J. Gordon Gilkey, Jr.

By Richard Burke
50th Anniversary History Subcommittee

J. Gordon Gilkey, Jr., a Chicago native, was the first General Manager of The Landings Association. He and his wife, Dale, retired to The Landings in 1978, but it was an amazingly active retirement. On Skidaway, he served as a volunteer firefighter with the Southside Fire Department, as a First Responder, and as Secretary of the Association's Board. In the city, he served on the boards of Hospice Savannah and the Savannah Symphony, was interim headmaster of St. Andrew's School, and Dean of the School of Business at Savannah State College. 

A graduate of Harvard College and Union Theological Seminary, Gordon followed in the footsteps of his father and uncle, both prominent Chicago ministers. He was a chaplain in the Navy during World War II and, returning from the war, served as a minister in the Chicago area and at New York’s famed Riverside Church.

But Gordon viewed his mission in life as serving the urban poor in tangible as well as spiritual ways. In 1966, he left the ministry and joined Carson Pirie Scott and Company in Chicago, becoming its vice president of civic affairs and overseeing the company's charitable donations. In addition, he was director of suburban planning for social services with the Welfare Council of Chicago and also served on the board of the Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation, helping to desegregate Chicago neighborhoods.

Gordon died in Savannah in 1999 at the age of 82. The headline to his death notice in The Chicago Tribune captured his spirit in five words: JAMES GILKEY; HELPED THE POOR.



This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.