Gordon Gary Mikesell, former Chairman of Southern Kansas Telephone Company (SKT) passed away June 13, 2021, peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born on August 8, 1935, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and grew up in Burden, KS. Gordon graduated from Burden High School in 1954 and that fall he enrolled in Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. To be closer to home, after a semester, Gordon transferred to Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, where he would also work weekends and summers for the family business SKT. On June 1, 1957, Gordon married the love of his life, Maxine Ruth Hamm of Winfield, KS. After returning from their honeymoon to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the couple sorted through their accumulated mail to find Gordon had received a notice from The Selective Service (draft board) for the U.S. Army. In March 1958, he reported to duty for the United States Army at Ft. Hood, Texas where the men were told, “You guys are a bunch of lucky souls who will be in the same outfit as Elvis Presley.” Gordon and Elvis were assigned to the same Battalion and completed basic training together. Gordon was chosen to be a Fire Forward Direction Control Specialist responsible for computing elevation and deflection settings for eight inch artillery guns. For eighteen months, he was stationed in Hanau, Germany. In January 1960, Gordon was discharged from the U.S. Army, and immediately enrolled at Kansas State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. In 1962, Gordon and Maxine moved to Clearwater, KS to work at SKT after the unexpected death of his father and he continued to work there until his retirement in 2010. Throughout his years in the telephone industry, he served on numerous state and national telecommunications industry associations and was inducted into the Kansas Telecommunications Hall of Fame in 2010. Gordon spent many years dedicated to the civic, economic, and business development initiatives in Clearwater and other Kansas communities that SKT served. He served for 11 years on the Clearwater City Council and was a past President of the Clearwater Lions Club. Gordon’s strong faith kept him actively involved in the Clearwater United Methodist Church since 1962. He held numerous leadership positions in the church over the years and loved to volunteer and participate in mission trips. Gordon loved to travel with Maxine and friends, visiting many locations throughout the world including Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and numerous locations in the United States. At the age of 53, Gordon got the flying bug and became a private pilot. He loved private aviation and logged more than 1,500 hours over the next 17 years and acquired numerous aviation ratings. Gordon is preceded in death by his parents Edwin B. and Dorothy E. Mikesell, brothers Edwin C. and Stephen R. Mikesell. Gordon is survived by his wife Maxine; sons: Edwin (Colleen) of Goddard and Greg (Monica) of Monument, CO; 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Paige and Mykala with Comfort Keepers as well as Mark, Fran and Robert with Rivercross Hospice for their unending dedication of compassionate care.
Visitation, Noon-6:30pm, Tues, with family present, 5-6:30pm, Webb-Shinkle Mortuary, Clearwater. Services, 10am, Wed, Clearwater United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Clearwater United Methodist Church or GraceMed.
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Clearwater United Methodist Church
130 N. First, Clearwater KS 67026
1150 N. Broadway, Wichita KS 67214