Dave Gorham: J-E loses great leader

It isn't everyday a Jordan-Elbridge native is elected - and re-elected - to the County Clerk's seat.

But, then again, Dave Gorham wasn't an ordinary man.

The J-E community lost one of its most politically active members last week when James David Gorham passed away Thursday Sept. 10 at age 90.

Gorham, who went by Dave, was active on the Elbridge Republican Committee, the Jordan Lodge, Elbridge Community Church, Tigris Shrine and Morningstar, and served as Elbridge Supervisor from 1954 to 1959. But was perhaps best known throughout Jordan-Elbridge for his tenure as Onondaga County Clerk.

Gorham was appointed deputy clerk in 1959, serving 15 years before being elected county clerk.

{Q}"It was quite an honor for the town of Elbridge to have a county clerk,"{Q} said Elbridge resident Leo Cooper. "Dave was a great leader."

The voters agreed. Gorham was re-elected to the post twice and retired in 1983.

At home in the J-E community, Gorham was well-liked and well-known.

"He of course was a great family man, as everybody knows, and just a great leader in the community," Cooper said.

Gorham and his wife, Elsie, participated in many community organizations together, and their enthusiasm was contagious. The couple was married for 67 years and had a son, James D. Gorham III, and two daughters, Patricia Marcon and Tiffany Phillips.

Marcon said her father took great pride in serving the public and his military service.

"He took such pride in that, to help people and make his office run efficiently," she said. "And he always treated people with respect.

Marcon said Gorham "went to anything and everything" his five granddaughters participated in, even traveling out of state to watch them play college sports.

And for all his good fortune, never took anything for granted.

"He would always say, 'the good Lord be willing'," Marcon said. "That was one of his famout lines. That about sums him up."

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