Leona Augustina (Twerdy) Gordon, 92, born June 3, 1929, to Augustina (Terlecki) and Benedict Twerdy of Coventry, Conn., passed away peacefully and pain-free on July 12, 2021. She was in the caring and loving presence of daughters and son-in-law, Toni Elka and Steve Morell, of Waltham, Mass., and Pamela Wilson (Shatzman) of Canterbury, Conn. Granddaughters Rebecca Rushford of Washington, D.C. and Sophie Shatzman of Keene were also present at her bedside to bid a sorrowful farewell to their “Grammy.”
In addition to those in attendance, Leona is survived by her brother, John Twerdy, and his wife, Claire, of Coventry, Conn., her daughter, Jennifer Shatzman-Lord, and William Lord of Clarksville, Tenn.; and her son, David Shatzman, of Winston-Salem, N.C.; her grandchildren, Eli Wilson and Jaquel Rey; and step-grandchildren, Caysie Lord of Vermont and Christopher Lord of Tennessee; and many nieces and nephews. Preceding Leona’s death was her husband, Marshall Gordon, her daughter, Shari (Jo) Shatzman, four sisters and nine brothers.
Leona surrounded herself with things of natural beauty, evidenced by decades of prolific gardening, sharing that love with her children and anyone who took an interest in her “secret” techniques. Her hands were never still, and she created a lifetime of expressful art in every genre: painting in all mediums, jewelry and stone work, pottery, stained art and so much more. Her curiosity led her to travel through France, Russia and Portugal, along with millions of highway and backroad miles in this, her home. Family and friends were often graced by a visit while “... I was just passing through ...”
With a generous and passionate spirit, Leona welcomed many people through her old, green, screen door at her farm in Westmoreland. For well over 30 years, tears were shed, laughter shared and bellies filled. Soup was served on a moment’s notice, and no one ever left empty-handed.
She carried a warrior-like spirit to champion women’s and civil rights, and felt right at home to enter any debate — and there were many. She was featured in a documentary about the death of her sister, Leona’s sister Gerri, which empowered many women around the country to speak their truth. She cared deeply about social justice as a volunteer at The Community Kitchen and supporting Hundred Nights, a homeless shelter, both in Keene. She leaves behind behind many good friends from those days, and donations in her memory will be most appreciated at Hundred Nights.
To view an online tribute, leave a message of condolence or for more information please visit www.csnh.com. Services will be private.