By Matt Youngfrau
BLOOMINGBURG October 16, 2001 If a man's life is judged based upon the effects he has had on others, then Gordon MacKinnon could easily be considered one of the greatest people to walk the face of the earth.
And that was exactly the sentiment expressed over and over again at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Bloomingburg on Saturday as approximately 250 people gathered to say goodbye to MacKinnon.
MacKinnon, a county legislator representing District 4 in the Town of Mamakating, died on Tuesday after several health problems stemming from heart bypass surgery 18 months ago. He was 70 years of age.
"He was truly an admirable man," Sullivan County Legislature Chair Rusty Pomeroy stated in his eulogy. "He did more in sickness than most people do in health. He taught me much when he was healthy. He taught me much more when he was sick.
Today, we give back to God an admirable man. Godspeed, my friend, and may God bless you."
After the eulogy, Pomeroy broke down in tears and was comforted by his wife. He was not the only one. From the front to the back of the church and even in the overflow crowd outside, soft cries could be heard and tears seen throughout the ceremony. Mourners, even those who did not know each other, were comforting each other, for they all had one thing in common:
They loved Gordon MacKinnon.
"He was a wonderful man," stated Father Pat McGuigan, one of three priests who oversaw the service. "He was the most honest person I knew. He wore his heart on his sleeve. You always knew what he was thinking. Everybody liked Gordon."
"Everything Gordon did was based on his belief system," remarked Father John Sidoti. "He was always reaching out to others. No one ever said a bad thing about him."
The service mass lasted about an hour and a half. Relatives thanked everyone for the support showed to their family, and, as MacKinnon used to do at such services, they invited everyone to the nearby recreation center for refreshments.
First, however, was the somber procession to the Bloomingburg Cemetery. Most gathered around MacKinnon's casket, which was draped in the American flag. MacKinnon, a former Navy veteran, was honored with a 21-gun salute, and the flag was presented to his widow, Joann.
And then, amidst the beauty of the township he loved and labored for so much, Gordy MacKinnon was gently laid to rest.