Obituaries & Tributes

Alys Saber Gordon – April 4, 1921 – Dec. 1, 2019

Alys Saber Gordon – April 4, 1921 – Dec. 1, 2019

Alys Gordon was born on an autumn day, April 4,1921 in Johannesburg, South Africa and died on Dec. 1, 2019 in Dexter, Ore.
She lived a long and full life.
She was a second-generation South African Jew and became a naturalized American citizen in 1998.
Family, friends and community were central to her life. She had lifelong friends going back as far as second grade, and she maintained regular contact with them and later with their children.
In the 1990s she settled in Los Angeles with her son Jonathan and his wife Shirley. In spite of the challenge of moving halfway around the world at a later age, she gradually transitioned from her traditional South African culture to modern California life. She began to use the LA bus system, volunteered to knit caps and booties for newborns through St. John’s Hospital, and socialized with other South African emigres and newfound friends.
Alys was a superb seamstress and knitter, and made clothes for both herself and her family. She took great care in how she presented herself and was always elegantly dressed. This was true right until the very end. She had an eye for beauty and could pick out fine details that no one else might ever notice.
In 2016 she moved from LA to rural Dexter, Ore., to be with her daughter Janine. Again, she made a geographical and cultural transition. Within a short time, she made new friends and became a regular at Temple Beth Israel senior lunches.
This tiny, red-haired woman was a larger-than-life presence. She will be missed by her family and friends from around the world.
Her son Jonathan preceded her in death, and she is survived by her daughter Janine Gordon of Dexter, Ore. and her daughter-in-law Shirley Gordon of Phoenix, Ariz.
A private funeral service was held on Dec. 4. Donations in her memory may be made to Temple Beth Israel of Eugene, Ore., earmarked for the Chevra Kadisha Fund or for the Rabbi Ruhi Discretionary Fund.
Arrangements entrusted to the Musgrove Family Mortuary. You are invited to sign the guestbook at



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos