Gordon Patrick "Bat" Masterson-- born April 30, 1932. Died November 3, 2019.
Gordon P. "Bat" Masterson was blessed early in life with the gift of faith and trust in God. This faith was nurtured by loving parents and his saintly mother, Esther. That faith was further enriched by eight years of education by loving Dominican nuns in the Visitation Parish in Detroit Michigan. Another early influence was the outbreak of war in 1941. Gordon began to learn the need for service and sacrifice during those war years. He observed his father working long hours supporting the war effort and his older brother enlisting in the Army. His housewife mother became “Rosie the Riveter” while at nine years of age Gordon became a latchkey nine-year-old with a newsboy paper route. He learned about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 while delivering the Detroit News to his customers. He observed a city and the nation at its best, dedicated to the war effort.
By 1946, Gordon finished his grade school experience in Detroit and prepared to work with his mother in a country store and gas station near Fowlerville, Michigan. He began high school armed with strong love of literature, history, music and sports. Accustomed to responsibility and work, he sold groceries, pumped gas, and hired out as day labor to various farmers during a harvest seasons. At the Fowlerville County Fair in 1947 Gordon met the love of his life, Doris, the first time. At the end of the day he gave her a ride to her home in downtown Fowlerville. This was the beginning of the more than 60 years, 57 married, of their life together. During high school they dated off and on. In 1950 Gordon graduated, having lettered in football, baseball, band and chorus. He was also editor of the school newspaper and Class of 1950 yearbook. From there it was off to work in the factory at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit Michigan. After more than a year Gordon began his college career at the University of Detroit, a Jesuit University. Meanwhile, Doris armed with a scholarship, began her college career in 1951 at Michigan State University. After two years of weekend commuting and courting, and as her father was dying of cancer, Gordon and Doris decided to be married on August 28, 1954 so that her father, dear to both of them, could walk her down the aisle.
For the next two years Doris put her exceptional skills to work to support Gordon while he worked part-time and studied until graduating Magnum Cum Laude in 1956. During graduation he was also commissioned a second lieutenant by the United States Air Force with a requirement to serve for three years. He began his active duty in San Antonio Texas in June of that year beginning his 28 year journey from Second Lieutenant to Brigadier General and then retirement in 1984. From his earliest days, he was motivated by his faith to search for success in service to others. Gordon was blessed with a “cradle to grave” devout faith in the Roman Catholic religion. He became one of the first Eucharistic Ministers in the United States Air Force. He also served as a Lector and Usher. While on active duty he represented the USAF at the National Council of Bishops at Notre Dame University and later served on the Orlando Bishops Council.
His favorite ministry was Ministry to the Sick in which he worked for more than 20 years. Beyond the usual motivating images Gordon was inspired by the “washing of the feet” at the Last Supper and by Veronica using her vail to wipe the face of Jesus, the seventh Station of the Cross.
From early in his life he had developed a very clear hierarchy of priorities he sought to use in all of life’s important decisions. First came love of God, then love the family and extended family, love of country, love of service –the USAF, and the Profession of Arms.
After retirement from the Air Force, Gordon and Doris looked for ways to continue their happy and useful lives. Doris became an income tax expert and for 27 years developed and served a host of grateful customers. Gordon became a community developer, through construction and management of the full-service community known as the Indian River Colony Club. As President and Chairman of the Board for more than eight years, he had the responsibility for all activities including construction of what is now nearly 800 homes, a golf course, two clubhouses, numerous amenities, and a Medical Center for assisted living and extended congregate care.
After 1994, Gordon became more active in the Military Officers Association of America (MOAACC) Cape Canaveral Chapter serving as an officer and in 1998 as Chapter President. He continued his work with the Chapter and in 2014 was asked to be the Chairman of MOAACC Scholarship Corporation.
During their 57 years of marriage, Doris and Gordon had seven children; Martin, Terese, Julia, Sarah, John, Edward and Patricia who they loved and cherished, second only to the love God and each other. Gordon is preceded in death by his wife, son Martin and grandchildren Daniel and Valerie. There are another surviving 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers he requested donations to the MOAACC Scholarship Corporation Fund. PO Box 254708, Patrick AFB, Florida 32925-4708.
A funeral mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Viera on 12 Nov 19, at 11:00 am followed by a reception at the Indian River Colony Club “At Ease” Club
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