Gordon Russell Shuck, Jr.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gordon Russell Shuck, Jr. died peacefully in his sleep at the Eastern Montana Veterans home in Glendive on May 31, 2019, just six days shy of his 101st birthday.

Dr. Shuck was born in Oakland, Calif.on June 6, 1918 to parents Mary Watson Shuck and Gordon Russell Shuck, Sr. He grew up in Seattle where his father Gordon Russell Shuck, Sr. taught electrical engineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Shuck graduated from Lincoln High School in Seattle in 1936 and earned three degrees from the University of Washington, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and a Ph. D. in Chemistry. He played clarinet for the Husky band including playing for the 1937 Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

On September 10, 1948 he married the love of his life, Olive May Andrews, a former World War Two Navy W.A.V.E., in Cincinnati, Ohio while working for Proctor and Gamble as a research chemist. Deciding on a career in teaching he did his post doc at USC in Los Angeles and in 1951 began teaching Chemistry at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he taught until 1956. He then moved to Fresno, Calif., teaching in the Chemistry department at Fresno State until 1961. At that point he decided to fulfill a longterm dream and become a cowboy. He left his academic career and bought a ranch in Winthrop, Wash. where he ran 300 head of cattle, learning how to ranch from reading magazines. After seven years of ranching, he decided to return to teaching and finished his career in Butte at Montana Tech, teaching from 1967 until his retirement in 1978. He and his wife bought a smaller farm in Whitehall, Mont. in 1971 where they raised and sold hay until 2001 when they moved to Cracker Box Road Glendive, Mont. to be next to his son, Gordon Russell Shuck, III.

Dr. Shuck pursued a variety of interests. After his retirement from Tech, he took up his clarinet again and played for the Ore Digger Pep Band and for the Butte and Bozeman Symphonies. He especially enjoyed playing clarinet with his granddaughters. He played tournament level chess with his son “Andy” (John) throughout Montana, Idaho, Washington and California. In 1982 he went to the Soviet Union with other chess enthusiasts on a cultural exchange and peacemaking mission. He built a dark room and took up photography and was a member of the Butte Camera Club. He also loved playing handball and built a regulation-sized handball/ racquetball court on his farm in Whitehall. Their home was a lively center of attraction for children, grandchildren, extended family and friends.

Dr. Shuck kept body, mind and spirit active his whole life. He played clarinet for his church and the nursing home in Glendive well into his 90s. He also taught chess to residents of WATCh East. He was an avid reader keeping up with magazines such as Chemical and Engineering News, Scientific American, Chess Life, and Time. He also enjoyed reading science fiction and mysteries.

He was active with his wife in the Jefferson Valley Baptist Church in Whitehall, the Cardwell Community Church, and West Side Baptist Church in Glendive.

In addition to the many interests above he also loved his dogs, playing poker, laughter, good whiskey and living in Montana.

Dr. Shuck is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Olive May Andrews Shuck, who died August 25, 2015; and a grandson, Zachary Andrew Shuck.

He is survived by his daughter, Molly (Ken) Doersch of Sandy Hook, Conn.; sons, Gordon (Vickey) of Glendive and John “Andy” (Bev) Shuck, of Portland Ore. Surviving grandchildren include Lisa (Joel) Shortlidge of Derry, N.H., Craig (Anne) Doersch of Sandy Hook, Conn., Julianne (Tom) Werner of Tallahassee, Fla., MaryAnn (Tige) Vester of Glendive, Janelle (Ken) Schafer of Elizabethtown, Ky., and Katy (Amber) Shuck of Johnson City, Tenn. He also leaves eleven greatgrandchildren.

Gordon Russell Shuck is an example of a life well-lived. He pursued his dreams and did what he wanted. He lived with vigor, loved much, laughed often, and died after 100 trips around the sun. What more could anyone ask?

Funeral services will be held at the West Side Baptist Church in Glendive at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

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