Kurtiss J. Gordon, 68, of Amherst, a retired program manager with the Office of Information Technologies (OIT), died at home on Dec. 26, 2008 of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Born in Bayonne, N.J., he received his B.S. in physics from Antioch College in 1964 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Michigan in 1966 and 1969, respectively.
Until 1984, he taught in the Five College Astronomy Department, then was a senior postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Computer and Information Science, the forerunner of the campus’ Computer Science Department. In 1985, he received his M.S.E.C.E. in Computer Systems through the department. In 1987, he was appointed coordinator of the scientific imaging applications at the University Computing Center, which later became OIT.
When he retired from OIT in 2003, he was director of Information Management Services. The author and co-author of a number of computing research papers, he was a member of the American Astronomical Society, Sigma Xi, Association of Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Locally, he was involved in the Valley Light Opera and had appeared in nearly every performance since 1976. He also served as the VLO’s webmaster and clerk of the board. He was also an avid member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Amherst, serving on the finance and music committees, treasurer and a member of the choir.
He leaves his wife, Courtney, three children, Geoffrey, Sara and Cynthia, and a sister.