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Fred Gordon dies; longtime health system pharmacist from Farmingdale was 70

Fred Gordon is seen here in this undated

Fred Gordon is seen here in this undated photo

After nearly a half-century of pharmaceutical work on Long Island, Fred Gordon seemed to know every single pharmacist.

When superstorm Sandy struck in 2012 and executives at Catholic Health Services of Long Island lost access to their computerized contact lists, longtime employee Gordon stepped in to assist, recalled CHS spokeswoman Christine Hendriks.

Gordon had the names and numbers of pharmacies and pharmacists memorized, she said.

The longtime Farmingdale resident "had a wealth of information regarding the pharmaceutical world," said Joseph Maritato, a friend and co-worker. "He was a true professional with a focus on patient safety and a gentleman, who never said no to anyone. He always tried to help."

Gordon died of pancreatic cancer March 26 at St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill, relatives said. He was 70.

He spent his entire career, nearly 47 years, with Catholic Health Services. He worked for about three decades in the pharmacy at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, which is part of CHS. He was later put in charge of negotiating the purchase of pharmaceutical supplies for the system, which runs Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, home-care services, hospices and Maryhaven group homes on Long Island.

Gordon, one of the founding members of the Long Island Society of Health System Pharmacists, served in a number of posts, including president, over the years, Hendriks said.

He was a "mentor to many of directors of pharmacy, students, staff and managers across Long Island," said Steve Cabble, director of pharmacy at St. Francis.

Howard Levine, a cousin, said Gordon was the reason he became a pharmacist. As a young man, Levine was undecided about his future career -- until Gordon invited him to spend a day at Mercy with him.

"That was it -- I was hooked," said Levine, who worked at the hospital for several years with Gordon before opening a pharmacy in West Babylon. "He made everyone feel like family. It wasn't work. Everybody was working together for the common cause."

Gordon grew up in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn and graduated from Long Island University's pharmacy school. He earned a master's degree in pharmaceutical studies at St. John's University, said his brother, Jerry Gordon, 77, of Deer Park.

He was known for organizing an annual fishing trip for some CHS employees at Captree State Park. He also had a special fondness for "Hopjes," a Dutch sweet that he always seemed to have in his pocket and handed out to children, his brother said.

Gordon is also survived by a son, Craig Gordon of East Meadow; and two granddaughters.

Services were held at Gutterman's Funeral Home in Woodbury on March 29. Burial was at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon.

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