ORANGEBURG -- The funeral for Dr. Robert Calvin Gordon, 75, of Orangeburg, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Orangeburg, with the Rev. Mack McClam, the Rev. Larry McCutcheon, the Rev. J. Jeanette Cooper, the Rev. Roger Brown and Melaine C. Gordon officiating.
Burial will take place in Belleville Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg, with full military honors
Dr. Gordon died Thursday, March 8, at his residence after an extended illness.
Born Aug. 15, 1942, in Williamsburg County, to the late Robert L. and Ruth Cooper Gordon, Robert Calvin was the third of five children. He was educated in the Williamsburg County schools. He graduated from Benedict College with a bachelor of science in biology in 1963, and went on to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Howard University in 1969.
Robert Calvin taught science for two years in Greenwood before going to dental school. He was commissioned into the United States Army as a first lieutenant in April 1969, where he practiced on active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until 1972. He served in the United States Army Reserve for 24 years as a dentist, retiring as a colonel in 1996. Robert Calvin and his family moved to Orangeburg in 1972, where he worked in a mobile dental unit for the health department. Robert Calvin was the longest practicing dentist in Orangeburg, having practiced for 45 years. He started his private practice in 1973 and practiced until June 2017.
Robert Calvin was raised in Bethesda Methodist Church and was a faithful member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where he served for many years on the finance committee. He was a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the Edisto Dental Study Club, South Carolina Dental Association, American Dental Association, National Dental Association, National College of Dentists and the Palmetto State Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association. He served as the first African-American president of the Orangeburg chapter of the Kiwanis International. Robert Calvin was an active member of the Edisto-Benedict Alumni Club, and served on the Claflin University Board of Visitors as well as the Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.
In addition to his parents, Robert Calvin was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Catherine Matthews Gordon; brother, Dr. Rudolph Giles Gordon Sr.; and sister, Joyce Loraine Gordon.
Robert Calvin is survived by his daughters, Donna (Gregory) Gordon Green of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Audrey (Northan Golden) Elaine Gordon of Orangeburg and Helen (Brian) Gordon Gary of Montgomery, Alabama; one sister, Jo Emily (Nathaniel) Knox of Columbia, Maryland; one brother, William Gilbert Gordon of Atlanta; three sisters-in-law, Margie Giles of Lane, Glenda (Frank) Tucker of Columbia and Vivian Matthews of Greeleyville; grandchildren, David, Joseph, Alexis and Lila Green of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Robert and Matthew Golden of Orangeburg, and Claire Gary and Brian Gary Jr. of Montgomery, Alabama; one aunt, Delsenia Gordon of Kingstree; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family will greet friends at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Trinity United Methodist Church. Memorial services will be conducted by members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and The Links Inc.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Robert and Catherine Gordon Endowed Scholarship at Claflin University, Benedict College, Howard University College of Dentistry, or Trinity United Methodist Church.
Friends may call at the residence and the funeral home. Sacred arrangements are entrusted to Dash's Funeral Home of Orangeburg. Online condolences may be submitted to www.dashsfh.com.