Lifelong East Marion resident Gordon Elwood Rackett died Nov. 10 at his home. He was 86 years old.
He was born in Greenport May 6, 1927, to Elwood A. and Gladys J. (Ankers) Rackett. He graduated from Greenport High School in 1944 and then graduated as a licensed aircraft and engine mechanic from Roosevelt Aviation School at Roosevelt Field in Mineola. For five years he served in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of technical sergeant. In the 1940s, Mr. Rackett worked as a trap fisherman on a local sailing sloop, followed by employment at Suffolk Aircraft in Westhampton and nine years at Mattituck Airbase. Most recently, he had worked for 30 years as a mechanical technician at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He married Nathalie Louise Bohlke on Jan. 8, 1950.
Family members said that for 50 years, Mr. Rackett enjoyed singing barbershop music with the Peconic and Whalers chapters of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. He also volunteered with the “Tuesday Morning crew” at Oysterponds Historical Society, was a member of the building and grounds committee and the choir at Orient Congregational Church and belonged to the East Marion Cemetery Association and East Marion War Memorial Association.
He was a former chief of the East Marion Fire Department and had served on the Oysterponds school board. According to family members, Mr. Rackett also enjoyed boating, clamming, fishing, boat building, woodworking, furniture restoration and vegetable gardening and had obtained his private pilot’s license.
Predeceased by his son, Glenn, in 1997, Mr. Rackett is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nathalie, of East Marion; his daughters, Susan N. Rackett-Rossetti, also of East Marion, and Lauretta H. Rahmes of High Springs, Fla.; his sister, Virginia R. Beasley of Mattoon, Ill.; and two grandsons.
A service will take place Friday, Nov. 15, at 1:30 p.m. at Orient Congregational Church, the Rev. Ann Van Cleef officiating. Private interment will take place at East Marion Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.
Memorial donations may be made to Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton or Bide-A-Wee animal shelter in Westhampton.