HON. GORDON L. DOERFER (RET.), of Needham, passed away peacefully on June 21, 2021 at the age of 81.
Gordon was born in Milwaukee, WI in 1939 to John and Ida Doerfer. Gordon became a judge at 34 years-old and served for a total of 25 years. Judge Doerfer received his B.A. from Amherst College 1961 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1966.
Gordon sat for four years on the Boston Municipal Court, fifteen years on the Superior Court and six years as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. In an unusual career path, Judge Doerfer left the bench in 1981 to work in private practice as a Partner for Palmer and Dodge, LLP before returning to the court in 1990. He retired from the bench in 2007 to become a Mediator and Arbitrator for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. He worked at JAMS and taught Trial Advocacy at Suffolk University Law School until just a few years ago, when he fully retired and spent his final years spending time with children, grandchildren, and beloved wife.
Gordon was known for his keen intellect, gentle demeanor, and kindness on and off the bench. He was an active member of First Parish in Needham for many years, and loved biking, hiking, and his three dogs. He adored watching movies and eating good food.
Gordon was lovingly cared for at North Hill in Needham for his last years, where he spent every opportunity with his beloved family. He is survived by his brother John Doerfer, his sons Andrew and Byron Doerfer, his daughters Joanna and Lora Doerfer, his grandchildren, Ava Tartikoff and Robinson Doerfer, and his loving wife, Priscilla Mullin.
On the last day of his life, Gordon celebrated Father’s Day embraced by family and in great comfort. He died peacefully the next morning. Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave, Needham, on Friday, June 25th from 4pm-7pm.A larger memorial celebration will take place in early September. Memorial details will be posted on Eaton Funeral Home website as logistics are finalized.
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