Mrs. Polly Matthews Gordon was the epitome of a southern lady with the grace and charm few possess together. She was able to make sad days into happy ones and influence countless lives and careers of her students. Mrs. Gordon entered into her eternal home on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at her home in Union. Born Nov. 15, 1934 in rural Neshoba County, Mrs. Gordon, who originally had planned a career helping her parents manage their supermarket in Union, instead spent 53 years as an educator. After initially completing her Associate of Arts degree at East Central Community College (Decatur), Polly finished the requirements for a baccalaureate degree in business from Mississippi College in Clinton. On May 27, 1956, she married the love of her life, Attorney and USAF veteran, Marcus D. Gordon and moved to Oxford to help her husband complete the requirements for baccalaureate and masters programs in business and law, and a later Juris Doctorate in Law. Convinced by many at Ole Miss to enter teaching, Mrs. Gordon began teaching at Thaxton (Pontotoc County) and Taylor (Lafayette County) and earned a Master’s Degree from Ole Miss in Business Education and returned to Union as the business education teacher at Union Special Municipal Separate School District. In 1978, Mrs. Gordon completed the requirements for a Specialist in Education from Mississippi State University and later coursework equivalent to a doctorate in education. In 1967, she was asked by the district administration to become the guidance counselor for Union High School and completed her career as the longest serving educator in the history of Union Public Schools, retiring in 2009 with a combined 53 years in education.
Mrs. Gordon was very active in the Union community, serving as long term President of the Union Present Day Club and the Xi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, and other civic offices at the local, state and national level. Polly was also active as a life-long member of Bluff Springs Church of God in Union, serving as the church music director for many years. In 2015, Mrs. Gordon was recognized for many contributions to better the lives for all that knew her when she was named the East Central Community College Alumna of the Year.
Polly Matthews Gordon is survived by her sons, M. Craig Gordon and his wife, Brenda Waller Gordon, of Oxford, M. Darin Gordon of Corinth, Texas and Brian S. Gordon of Union; a daughter, Teresa Parker of Louisville; and long-time family member, Prentiss Parker of Philadelphia. In addition, she is survived by four grandchildren, Lanna Parker of Neshoba County, Lara Kelle Parker of Louisville, Kelly Lamb and wife Brenda of Saltillo and Kristen Shepherd and her husband, Rev. Kent Shepherd, of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Her rather large extended family includes five great grandchildren, Kaden Shepherd and Karson Shepherd of Lake Charles, Meghan Quintanilla, Morgan Lamb and Swayze Kate Lamb of Saltillo.
Mrs. Gordon was preceded in death by her husband, Judge Marcus D. Gordon of Union; her brother, Dr. Milton D. (Bud) Matthews of Ridgeland; her parents, Hugh and Pauline Germany Matthews; nephews Rex Gordon Jr. and Dr. Carl Gordon of McMinnville, Oregon; and countless cousins, students, teachers and administrators that were the equivalent of her siblings.
A graveside service following COVID 19 guidelines will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2020 at the Union City Cemetery with Dr. Jon Martin (First Baptist Church Union), Reverend Marshall Stokes (Bluff Springs Church of God) and retired Church of God minister, Reverend Paul Ninemire, of Oak Grove, Louisiana officiating. A memorial service will be planned at a later time to celebrate the life of Polly Matthews Gordon.
Pallbearers include Mike Driskell, Joey Ezelle and Trent Hanna all of Union, Tommy Matthews of Vaiden, Don Brantley of Louisville, Dr. William Wade of McCool, Prentiss Parker of Philadelphia, and Van Hagan of Jackson. Honorary pallbearers include Steve Nelson of Union, Roger Whitlock of Union, Norman Carter of Philadelphia, Gary Pinson of Little Rock and past and present members of the Union Present Day Club, the Xi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and past and present administrators, faculty and staff of the Union Public School District.