WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — John Gordon Black of Williamstown, Massachusetts died Sunday, January 17th, 2021 at home with his family. An optimistic man with a generous spirit and a positive outlook, he was respected and loved by all who knew him.
John was the middle child of five born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Samuel Oscar Black and Gladys Frances Gulliford. He graduated from local schools and then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. After his discharge, he studied electronics and electrical engineering at both the Dunwoody Institute and the University of Minnesota on the GI Bill.
John met Nancy Lee Holsapple at the First Baptist Church in Minneapolis while attending a college young people's Bible class. Two years later, they were married at that church.
While attending college, John worked at The Perkins Engraving Company in Minneapolis. While there, Excelsior Printing Company in North Adams, Mass. opened an engraving section and was looking for someone to run it. They were introduced to John and subsequently hired him and moved his family to Massachusetts. This began what would become a long career in Engraving.
He served as President of Excelsior Engraving Co., in North Adams, Massachusetts as well as the Standard Engraving Co. in Oakland, California. He was elected President of the Engraved Stationery Manufacturing Association and served on several Boards of Directors including The Hoosac Bank, The Taconic Golf Course, the Williamstown Finance Committee and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. John was an industry innovator and a leader. Fundamental to John’s strong leadership ability was his belief that each individual can make a difference. He rightfully earned the respect of his peers
Most important to John was his wife and family. He remained close with his children and grandchildren throughout his life with whom he planned numerous adventures including ocean and lake vacations to Lake George, Carr Island and Block Island. John loved golf and spent more than a few hours per week at Taconic Golf Club.
John is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nancy Lee Black, his brother Jerry Black, many nieces and nephews, his three children: David John Black and wife Loretta, Alexandra Lee Black Eckhardt and husband Fritz and Karen Lynn Black; as well as his eight grandchildren: Bryan Paul Roach, Thomas James Nicholas Roach, Matthew John Roach, Julian Alexander Eckhardt, Derrek John Eckhardt, Anya Lee Eckhardt, Steven Ryan Black and Kevin Douglas Black; as well as his two great grandsons: Hartley Luckner Black and Carter Peyton Black.
Due to the Covid pandemic, a private family ceremony and burial will be held on Friday, January 22nd, at the East Lawn Cemetery in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Community Bible Church Food Pantry located in Williamstown in care of the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home, CENTRAL CHAPEL,74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA 01247. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.