Gordon Thomas Summers passed away unexpectedly on December 6, 2023.
He was born May 21, 1966 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Barbara “Bee” (Webster) and Stuart Summers, who later moved the family to Cincinnati, Ohio, and encouraged a love of nature, history, open spaces, and national parks. They also instilled in their children the enjoyment and adventure of family travel, a near-yearly tradition that continued throughout the children’s lives, even as their own families and interests expanded.
Gordon enjoyed most sports growing up, gravitating towards soccer, “a sport where the slight suggestion of a shoulder in the back was not frowned upon.” One of his other passions in high school, juggling, led to his joining The Brothers Bazoo juggling troupe, to which some of his life-long friends also belonged. In 1989 Gordon earned a B.S. in physics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.
1987 was a big year for Gordon: while honing his juggling skills at a party, his red socks and clashing rainbow suspenders attracted the attention of Ann Rice Beard, who would become the love of his life. They married in 1993, and the following year Gordon and Ann moved to a beautiful country property near Ann’s hometown of Batesville, Arkansas, where Gordon joined the company he would stay with for over 20 years. Gordon’s work then took them to Omaha in 2000; shortly thereafter they welcomed their first child, Colin. Colin got a sister when Clare joined them a few years later. They have called Omaha their home ever since.
Gordon was an accomplished man, mastering nearly everything he set his mind to. He developed an affinity for data science and became to those who knew him the most gifted, intuitive, and talented data scientist in the field; in 2019 he even authored a book on the subject, Leading a Data Driven Organization. He turned this passion into a thriving consulting practice over the last decade, often leaving his clients amazed. When asked their opinion of him they use words and expressions like fun, brilliant, kind, patient, engaging, a lovely man to work with. Many of them became good friends.
Gordon was a wonderful father, sharing his passions and compassion with his children. He and his family did nearly everything together, and developed life-long enthusiasm for rock climbing, martial arts, hiking and exploring, shooting, and over the last several years, scuba diving. They traveled the world to dive, and in true “Gordon” form, collected an envy-worthy inventory of related gadgets. You would rarely have a conversation with him that didn’t eventually stray to the latest diving trip. Cooking, gardening, and spending time with friends sitting around their triangle coffee table are central to the Summers clan, and provide countless cherished memories.
Gordon will be greatly missed by all. He leaves behind Ann, his beloved wife of 30 years; children Colin and Clare; parents Bee and Stuart Summers; sister Kathleen and Howard Motoike; brother Alan and Jennifer Summers; sister-in-law Amy and Lee Tallents; two nieces; two nephews; many supportive cousins, aunts, and uncles; fond friends, and his close-as-a-brother business partner, Tre Ventling.
He was preceded in death by Ann’s parents Paula and James Beard, who are certain to be enjoying his company as he educates them on the finer points of data science, diving, and the proper scientific names of cabri varieties.
A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a gift in Gordon’s memory may contribute to the Diver’s Alert Network at https://dan.org/about-dan/donate/. Condolences may be sent to the family at home.