Gordon Callison Kearl, a father, husband, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and Show Low public servant, was born July 6, 1935 and died June 28, 2020, at the age of 84.
Gordon passed away in Peoria, Arizona, never losing his strong faith, sense of humor and love for people.
While living in Show Low, Gordon established Rim Consulting, specializing in strategic business and financial planning. He served as a Show Low City Councilman and Vice Mayor, was an Executive Director of the Show Low Chamber of Commerce and served on the governing boards of Show Low Historical Society, Northland Pioneer College Foundation, White Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Show Low Main Street, White Mountain Regional Development Corporation and the Pine Oaks Property Owners Association. Many other community organizations in the area benefited from his philanthropy.
In 1957, Gordon was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and completed jet pilot training in Texas. He was assigned to the Strategic Air Command and served 10 years as a B-52 bomber pilot and instructor at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota and as a senior staff officer and vice commander at Loring AFB, Maine. He commanded a SAC B-52 bombardment wing at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas, and spent over 13 years in Omaha, Nebraska, developing strategic nuclear war plans at Strategic Air Command headquarters and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Target Planning Staff. He served an additional five years in Washington DC at Headquarters, U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Arms Control while accumulating hundreds of hours piloting T-39 executive jets. Gordon served two combat tours in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star, three Air Medals, and the Vietnam Service medal. He is also the recipient of two Legion of Merit medals.
After retiring from active duty in Nebraska, Gordon served as a military consultant to several defense contract research organizations. Simultaneously, he worked as a licensed Certified Financial Planner in the Omaha, office of First Command Financial Planning Group. In 1990, he became a district manager in Ft. Worth, Texas, and in 1992 was appointed Executive Officer to both the President and the CEO until Gordon's retirement in March 2002, when he and Dianne relocated to the White Mountains of Arizona.
Gordon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a high school teaching certificate from Occidental College, California, and a Master of Science degree in systems management from the US Air Force. Gordon is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, a distinguished graduate of the Air War College and was an adjunct instructor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Nebraska) and Northland Pioneer College (Arizona). He was a licensed Certified Financial Planner for 16 years.
Gordon was a loving husband, devoted father and mentor. He was an avid reader; his personal library contained over 1200 volumes of history, religion, world and U.S. literature and biographies. He served decades as a teacher, speaker and lay minister with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including callings in stake presidencies and high councils, bishoprics and the church's seminary and institute program. He was a member of Show Low first Ward where he served several years as the ward clerk and High Priest group leader and on the High Council in the Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona Stake.
He is survived by Dianne, his bride of 63 years; his sons, Steven Kearl of Show Low, Arizona, and Jeffrey Kearl of Peoria, Arizona; daughters, Kelly Ann Mendez of Stockton, California and Teresa Baldauf of Crestwood, Kentucky; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Show Low Historical Museum.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low handled the arrangements.
For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign the online guest book, visit the website at www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com