Marion G. Gordon, 71, founded Sinai Auxiliary She coordinated volunteer activities

October 04, 1993|By Michael Ollove | Michael Ollove,Staff Writer

Marion G. Gordon, a founder and former president of the Sinai Hospital Auxiliary, died Saturday of cardiac arrest at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 71.

With equal measures of know-how and tact, Mrs. Gordon at one time organized as many as 4,000 women who were active in the auxiliary during the 1950s. The auxiliary was formed in 1948 to coordinate activities and services for patients, provide hospital tours, operate the gift shop and cafeteria, and provide diversions for pediatric patients.

During Mrs. Gordon's service on the auxiliary board, Sinai moved from East Monument Street to Belvedere Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.

For the auxiliary, the relocation meant a significant increase in volunteer activities, much of which Mrs. Gordon helped plot and implement.

"She was so very special," Joyce Levy, a fellow board member and later the auxiliary's first executive coordinator, remembered yesterday. "She had wonderful ideas and good leadership qualities -- a very gentle, lovely lady."

An only child born in Woodmere, N.Y., on Long Island, the former Marion Greenberg graduated from Woodmere Academy before attending the University of Maryland in College Park. There, she met Harvey B. Steinbach, and they were married in 1941.

The couple moved to Baltimore, where Mr. Steinbach helped run his family's wine distributorship, the Medeira Wine and Liquor Co.

A daughter, Joan, was born in 1945, followed four years later by a son, Mark. Joan was born with brain damage, complications of which resulted in her death in 1966.

By then, another tragedy had struck. As she was helping lead the Sinai Auxiliary, her husband died of cancer in 1958.

In 1966, she married David P. Gordon, a founding partner of the Baltimore law firm Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger and Hollander. The Gordons divided their time between an apartment in Northwest Baltimore and a home in St. Michaels.

When Mr. Gordon retired several years ago, the couple moved to a condominium in the Towers at Harbor Court. They also had a home in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mrs. Gordon was also a member of Sinai Hospital's general board and the board of the Children's Guild, and a volunteer for the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

In Boca Raton, she did volunteer work at the Boca Raton Community Hospital and was active in the Jewish Federation.

In addition, She enjoyed traveling, cooking, and needlepoint, walked for exercise and was a diehard Orioles fan. She was also a member of the Hamilton Street Club.

"She was a great force in myriad lives," said Annette Lieberman, a close friend. "She knew the true meaning of friendship -- support, presence, guidance and love."

Services were to be held at 3 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros., 6010 Reisterstown Road.

In addition to her husband and her son, Mark of Baltimore, Mrs. Gordon is survived by five stepchildren, Karen Gordon of Sunfield, Mich., Jaimy Gordon of Kalamazoo, Mich., Hilry Gordon of Wallace, W.Va., Adam Gordon of San Francisco and Spencer Gordon of Cedarcroft; and two granddaughters.

The family suggested donations to the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 101 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, 21201, or to the charity of the donor's choice.

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