Mary Gordon

Obituary of Mary Gordon

MARY ELLEN NEVILLE GORDON of Brooklyn, Manhasset, Manhattan, and Boca Raton, FL, peacefully passed away of natural causes on December 22, 2017 at the home of her daughter Rosalind Piegel in Boca Raton. Mary Ellen, the daughter of the late John H. and Helen Dillon Neville, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1930. She had two siblings, the late Rosalind Neville, who died in 1952, and her younger brother Thomas M. Neville. She attended Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn, where she developed life long friendships. Upon graduation she briefly attended Georgetown Visitation, then returned home to Brooklyn and studied acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She performed in Summer Stock Theater in Westport, Conn., and developed a love of theater and film that she passed on to her children. In 1952 she married Theodore Ficke of Brooklyn, with whom she had four girls, Rosalind, Susan, Diane and Gabrielle. The family lived happily in Brooklyn near family and friends until the death of Ted in 1957. After Ted's death, Mary Ellen met Alex Gordon of Brooklyn. They wed in 1959 and moved to Manhasset, NY. Four more children followed, Alex, Helen, Mary Ellen and Daniel. Alex Gordon passed away in 1973 of cancer. Mary Ellen raised her eight children with the help of her parents, who moved to Manhasset in the late 1960s and lived nearby. As a single Mom Mary Ellen was courageous and creative. She started a family Marionette Theater, for which most of the children worked, performing classic fairy tale stories for birthday parties, children's centers and schools. In the late 1960's Mary Ellen returned to college, attending Nassau Community College and earning a degree as a Registered Inhalation Therapist. She worked the midnight shift in the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Hospital so that she could be home during the day for her children. She subsequently returned to school in the mid 1970's, attending Adelphi University, and received her Bachelor's degree in Communications. In 1980 she moved to Manhattan and began working in advertising and, subsequently, for the then popular TV show, Kids Are People Too. She instilled her passion for education and work ethic in her children, requiring all eight to study abroad in Spain for a summer in High School, and to attend and graduate from college. In the 1980's Mary Ellen chose to work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she spent ten years in an environment that she loved, surrounded by the art and sculpture of the world's masters. Upon retirement Mary Ellen spent time in Florida, then moved to San Miguel de Allende, an artist community in Mexico. Health issues brought her back to New York and in 2005 she moved to Boca Raton, Florida, living near to her daughter Rosalind until her death. Finally, Mary Ellen loved life and fully enjoyed each moment she had on this earth. She threw multitudes of parties, for birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, friends and co-workers. She believed in celebrations, and was loved by many. In addition to her brother and children, she is survived by twelve grandchildren: Bobby, Caitlin, Teddy, John, Maggie, George, Jenny, Nicky, Liam, Catie, Alex and Daniel. The funeral on Wednesday, January 17th, at 8:45 AM from the funeral home. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM at Holy Trinity R. C. Church, 34 Maple Avenue, Hackensack with interment following at St. Joseph Cemetery in Hackensack. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.