Gordon Roswell Rahmes, Sr., retired Maritz executive and WWII combat veteran, died peacefully Wednesday, September 6th, 2017. Born March 16, 1925 in West New York, New Jersey, son of Gladys Woodruff and Ralph Edwin Rahmes. He grew up in Rutherford, NJ, where he was President of his high school class during his senior year, graduating in 1942. During WWII, he initially enrolled in Lehigh University, but then enrolled in the V-12 officer program, and was transferred to and briefly attended Harvard University, shortly thereafter electing to enlist, serving as a radioman gunner on PBM Martin Mariner amphibious patrol bombers performing convoy escort and U-boat hunting duty in the Atlantic theater, and then in VPB-19 in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific performing long range reconnaissance missions, returning home in 1946, and being discharged as a Radioman 2nd Class Petty Officer. After the war, he returned to Lehigh University, pitching on the varsity baseball team and graduating with honors with a business degree. He was a proud brother in Chi Psi Fraternity. At Lehigh he met and married Doris Nanette Sage, the love of his life. They had three fine sons, Gordon, Jr., Scott and Todd. Upon graduation, he became a salesman in the vacuum tube division of General Electric based out of Syracuse, NY, where he won salesman of the year awards, and then became a successful account executive for Maritz, Inc. in 1963 in the New York office. Gordon resided with his family in Ridgewood, NJ from 1960 until 1968. While there, he coached in Little League baseball, taking the Ridgewood All Star team to the Little League regional playoffs. He relocated to Wheaton, IL and was promoted to Regional Sales Director of the Chicago region for Maritz in 1968, and then became the Area Manager for the West Coast region in 1973, relocating to St. Louis, MO. Finally, he was promoted to Senior Vice President Corporate Planning at Maritz. After Nanette’s passing in 1988, he retired in 1989 and moved to Niceville, FL to be close to his sons and their families. In his retirement, he was a member of the Bluewater Bay Golf Club, he served as the President of the Balmoral Homeowners Association and was beloved as the announcer for the Niceville High School Girls Softball team for many years. He avidly followed Niceville Football, announcing the Freshman and JV games. He loved Bordeaux wine and was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees and Lehigh Wrestling. Gordon is survived by three children, Gordon Jr.(Mary) of Niceville, FL, Scott (Shari) of Navarre, FL, and Todd (Carolyn) of Austin, TX, and six grandchildren, Matthew, Michael, David, Elizabeth, Zach, and Nathalie, and one great grandchild, Anna Sage. Burial will be held at Barrancas National Military Cemetery in Pensacola, FL, where he and Nanette will be laid to rest together.
A gathering of family and friends will be held to celebrate his life at Bluewater Bay Sports Bar and Grill on Saturday,, September 30, 2017, from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Sept. 24, 2017