Yarmouth, Maine — Ralph Henderson Gordon, 92 of Yarmouth, formerly of Salem, N.H., South Portland, Maine, Scarborough, Maine and Edgartown, Mass. died on Friday, November 2, 2012 at the senior living facility Bay Square after a period of declining health. He was born on September 4, 1920 in Salem, N.H., one of six children of Earle and Effie (Henderson) Gordon.
He attended Salem schools and graduated from Woodbury High School in Salem, where he was a three sport star athlete all four years as quarterback of the football team, captain of the basketball team and star pitcher for the baseball team.
He met the love of his life in first grade and on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1942, with a snow storm blowing, he married Ruth Railton. She predeceased him on November 10, 2010. Together they had a son and daughter and made their home in Salem, N.H., moved to South Portland, Maine for a 30 year career with Maine Central Railroad, retired to Edgartown, (in a home built by Ruth’s uncle) for 25 good years before moving to Yarmouth, bringing them closer to where their children live.
The day after Pearl Harbor, Ralph was the first in line to enlist in the Army but (un)fortunately due to a heart murmur from rheumatic fever he was not accepted. He began his professional career with Remington Rand and it was as a result of his selling a UNIVAC1 computer to the Maine Central Railroad in Portland that he moved to Maine and began a two year installation. At the end of that period, the Maine Central realized they needed his expertise in operating their first computer and hired him to manage their data processing department. In 1958 he taught his son Chris how to program that computer, leading him to follow in his father’s footsteps. Ralph was a member of the Data Processing Managers Association for many years.