Gordon  Crowell

Obituary of Gordon S. Crowell

Gordon S. Crowell died at the age of 98 after a brief illness on Hilton Head Island on May 10, 2024. Son of the late Merle and Mary Leonard Crowell, he was born on May 7, 1926, in New York City, where his father was editor of the American Magazine. His earliest years were spent in Chappaqua, New York, and at 4 years old, he moved with his mother and older brother, Robert, to Reno, Nevada.

He had a lifelong passion for photography and worked as a freelance photographer for the Nevada State Journal and Reno Gazette newspapers. He was very active in Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout (with a bronze palm) in 1943.

A World War II Army veteran, he served in Frankfurt, Germany, attached to the Headquarters of the United States Forces-European Theater. After his return from Germany, he entered the University of California at Berkeley, with support from the “G.I. Bill of Rights,” graduating cum laude in June 1953 with a BS degree in Business Administration and a minor in International Trade.

He was recruited by General Electric Company to join their prestigious Financial Management Program and moved from Berkeley, California, to Schenectady, New York. In late 1959, he was transferred to Bogota, Columbia, as part of a small team of American managers to construct and operate a new appliance factory in that country. Special assignments took him to Rome, Italy, and on 2 trips to Buenos Aires. In late 1966, he transferred to Montevideo, Uruguay, as the Financial Manager of General Electric of Uruguay, a GE subsidiary company of 1,500 employees and 3 factories.

In late 1976, Mr. Crowell was named President and General Manager of the Uruguayan company. That same year, he took an orphanage of 20 - 30 children under his patronage and was instrumental in improving their well-being. During General Electric’s 100th anniversary year of 1978, Crowell was selected to receive a prestigious Centennial Award for exemplary service, a special honor given to only 100 of GE’s total of 400,000 employees. In January 1985, he retired from General Electric after 31 years of service and moved to his home on Hilton Head Island.

Known as “Uncle Gordon,” he was active in youth work at First Presbyterian Church. As a Deacon, he organized a group of 23 members to tutor over 50 students at the Hilton Head schools. He tutored students at Hilton Head Middle School himself for more than 8 years. At his home in Hilton Head Plantation, he hosted annual summer “water fun” bashes and autumn Halloween parties for church families. He attended numerous church family campouts and participated in many Cub Scout & Boy Scout activities on the island. He was also a member of the Masonic Order.

There are no surviving relatives, but he has 14 godchildren, 23 god-grandchildren, numerous god greatgrandchildren, plus many young friends (now adults) who grew up on Hilton Head Island with him as their “Uncle.” A Memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 540 Willian Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC, on Sunday, August 4, 2024, at 2:00 pm. Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church.


Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, August 4, 2024
First Presbyterian Church
540 William Hilton Parkway
Hilton Head Island , South Carolina, United States
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