Gordon L. Clouser
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Gordon L. Clouser died peacefully at home the afternoon of May 14, 2021, with his wife, Marcia, at his side. Through five years of dealing with lung cancer and then strokes, Gordon continued to live positively through faith, fellowship, friends, family, and all the fun the Four Corners' paradise offers to those who seek joy and harmony. He lived long and well.

Born in Roswell, NM, February 4, 1940, Gordon grew up in Norman, OK, the eldest of three brothers. His father, H. Gordon Clouser, died in his aircraft while seeding a Bermuda Triangle hurricane off Florida: Gordon was only 12 years old but the seed was planted to become a pilot. A the University of Oklahoma, he obtained a degree in Aeronautical and Space Engineering. He never missed a football game and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega.

Northrop Corporation hired him to work on spacecraft design six months before his USAF pilot training commenced in Lubbock, TX, in December 1963. On Marcia's birthday, August 9, 1964, the two were wed on a weekend in Lafayette, IN. Since they met five years earlies as YMCA Camp of the Rockies' summer employees at Estate Park, a Colorado home was always Gordon's retirement destination.

Assignments across the country and overseas followed F-105 fighter training in La Vegas, NV. On May 10, 1966, on a mission out of Thailand, Gordon's aircraft was downed by enemy ground fire. He bailed out, was picked up, and medically evacuated home to North Carolina to recover. During his next assignment at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, he thrived and was recognized as a Pacific outstanding young officer. The timing was such that the squadrons spent months on alert in South Korea, following the North Korean seizure of the Navy's Pueblo ship. In 1972 in the F-4 Phantom, Gordon returned to Thailand. On this tour, he was credited with a MIG (it was on his tail; he pulled up sharply before a mountain; the MIG did not.)

Gordon attended Command and Staff College and Air War College on tours in Montgomery, AL, also receiving a master's degree in Public Administration from Auburn University. A Pentagon assignment in between gave Gordon a taste of Europe when he served on a NATO fighter requirements committee and made regular trips to Belgium.

The Clousers left home in 1980 for seven years in Europe, moved five times, and nurtured international relationships formed in Germany, Turkey, and Belgium. Career highlights there included serving as Group Commander at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; Vice Commander of the 86th Wing at Ramstein, Germany; and Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at Mons, Belgium. Flying hours were few but exciting in the F-16.

Four years at Langley AFB, VA, rounded out Gordon's career at Tactical Air Command Headquarters, before his fall 1990 retirement as a colonel. His combat recognition includes two silver stars, three distinguished flying crosses, sixteen air medals, and the Purple Heart.

Life's next chapter was Durango, as fast as Gordon could get there. A building school and home construction courses set the stage for him to find the spot to build his dream home - then working daily four-plus years on this labor of love. Along the way, he continued his lifelong Methodist membership, served as a lay leader, went on mission trips, and taught Disciple Bible Study classes. He was part of a trio who founded his beloved Tillers of the Soil, a church study group that digs into questions not addressed by religious or secular institutions, in search of biblical truths. Major research on his part resulted in his writing a scholarly book on the historical Jesus. Gordon volunteered at the Methodist Thrift Shop and served the Board as president. He was a life member of the Air Force Association, Daedalians (military honorary), Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, and the Four Corners Chapter of the Military Officers' Association of America, which he served as president. A 30-year member of the Durango Rotary Club, he presided as president, then served as secretary for over a decade. He trained to join Marcia in Red Cross volunteer casework for the Four Corners, verifying military members' family emergencies so that service personnel could come home when needed, and he also served on the Red Cross board.

For fun, Gordon did jeep tour guiding in the San Juans, taking tourists and friends to the "top of the world," which led to his becoming a Rail Ranger. The Forest Service educates the Rangers riding the DSNGRR trains to Silverton, to answer questions about the local history and terrain. Ushering at the Community Concert Hall and Music in the Mountains offered premium performance rewards. Gordon was a strong supporter of the Durango Public Library Friends, making the first book categories' signs on dowels to present well-organized book sales.

One last Durango gem is the Community Thanksgiving Dinner; coordinating 250 volunteers into place and arranging organized dinner deliveries was a month-long, exhilarating task for years. Another lifelong dream since a "70s' military deployment to Alaska was to see bears there live, river fishing for salmon. This Gordon enjoyed in 2019 on a final cruise to his second favorite state. He liked to ski, golf, play bridge, travel the world, and savor everything about SW CO.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Durango Herald on May 27, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
June 12, 2021
Gordon and Marcia have been close friends and USAF colleagues for over 40 years! He was a true hero during Viet Nam and a great leader and role model to me being several years senior. He loved his country, his God, and his family above himself. We are saddened at his passing, but rejoicing that he is with his savior now.
Rich & Betsy Castle
Served In Military Together
June 6, 2021
I served with (then) Captain Clouser in the 12th TFS as the squadron munitions officer. Gordy made me feel at home all the time and I learned to contribute to many things through his efforts. I will miss him but know that, in time, we will be reunited.
Joe Rinella
Served In Military Together
June 4, 2021
I had the pleasure of serving with Gordon as an American Red Cross volunteer. Both Gordon and Marcia were amazing role models and taught me many valuable lessons. Gordon touched many lives and was truly a legend in service.
Carmen Dille-Hachmann
May 31, 2021
The Buckley AFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for Col Clouser's 27 years of distinguished service to our country in the Air Force. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley AFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

Steve Young
Lt Col, USAF, Ret
Director, Buckley AFB RAO
Steve Young
May 31, 2021
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Ron and Miss Jane Fogleman
May 30, 2021
Indeed, Gordon lived a good life. His contributions as a volunteer have a lasting impact on Durango.

Rest in peace.
John Viner
May 30, 2021
I would have been thrilled to have met this man!!
Bubba Craighead
May 28, 2021
Gordon and I worked together at the Methodist Thrift Store and Marcia was always busy there also. In his quiet way, he enjoyed serving and guiding but I knew he was an accomplished man and a world traveler. Yet, I didn't realize his legacy was so far ranging, honored and rewarding. We will miss Gordon and I send my well wishes and blessings to Marcia and the Clouser family .

Joanne Bagley
Joanne Bagley
May 28, 2021
Gordon was one of those special people that made the world a better place. He was a good friend and neighbor for the past 25 years. Gordon was a Rotarian ( service above self ), and truly lived this. He was always kind, humble and modest. Gordon accomplished a lot during his lifetime. Those of us who were privileged to be his friend, feel the deep void left by the loss of this mensch.
Gerald Sheldon
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