LOS ANGELES — John A. Gordon, a prominent advocate of coatings-education programs and veteran of more than 60 years in the coatings industry, died July 17 in Loma Linda, CA. He was 85 and had suffered from heart disease for several years. Mr. Gordon was a past president of the Los Angeles Society for Coatings Technology and had been active with the organization, particularly in connection with education programs, for many years.
He was born in Montrose, CO, and moved to San Diego with his family in his youth. He graduated from San Diego State College (now California State University-San Diego) with a degree in chemistry, and did post-graduate studies at the University of California-Berkeley. He went to work for California Ink Co. in Berkeley in 1939, then served in the Navy during World War II.
After the war, he returned to California Ink Co., and later worked in technical capacities with National Lead Co., Dutch Boy Paints, Monsanto Chemical Co., American Mineral Spirits Co. and Union Oil Co. He left industry in 1978 to begin a second career as an educator, and taught at the University of Missouri-Rolla and Eastern Michigan University. In the 1980s, he retired from teaching and started his own firm in Southern California, Pacific Technical Consultants. He remained active in the business until his death.
Mr. Gordon served as president of the Los Angeles Society for Coatings Technology in 1973–74. He was a 50-year member of the FSCT and an honorary member of the Los Angeles Society. He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Evelyn; a son, John Douglas Gordon; and four grandchildren.