Dr. Gordon Kenneth Danielson, Jr., 85, of Rochester died peacefully in his home surrounded by family on October 2, 2017. He was born December 5, 1931 in Burlington, Iowa to Helen H. (Hill) and Gordon Sr. His family moved to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and he graduated from Westchester High School. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1956. He married Sondra Jean Bolich on January 21, 1961. HIs work continued at the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and as a visiting fellow at Thoraxkliniken, Karolinska Sjukhuset in Stockholm Sweden. He became Associate Surgeon and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at University Hospital in Lexington Kentucky. Gordon was recruited by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and worked as a cardiovascular surgeon and educator from 1967-2002. He was faculty at the Mayo Graduate School Medicine, Professor of Surgery, Chairman and Consultant of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. He was a recipient of numerous prestigious scholarships and awards, and was an invited speaker to medical conferences in over 50 countries. He was selected by the US State Department for a joint USA/USSR congenital heart disease exchange program and traveled to USSR several times. He contributed over 800 articles to multiple medical journals.
He wished to provide his seven children with a rural experience and had small hobby farm where chickens and ducks were raised. He also enjoyed horseback riding on Sunday afternoons after church. He meticulously documented the family's travels, milestones, and gatherings. Gordon was a member of First Presbyterian Church for 50 years where he served as an Elder and Usher.
Survivors include his wife, Sondra and seven children: Gordon K. Danielson III, Laura Smith (Timothy), Karen Larson (Eric), Keith Danielson, Bruce Danielson, Sue McGeary (Tony), Jennifer Danielson, and six grandchildren and a brother, Bruce (Carla Selby) Danielson.
Special appreciation to Visiting Angels Home Care and to the Mayo Hospice Program for their support.
Private funeral services will be held with interment in the Columbarium at First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association www.alz.org or the Ronald McDonald House www.rmhmn.org in Rochester, MN.
To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN 55901
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Dr. Danielson operated on my heart in 1986 and 1987. I was a young teenager at the time and remember him visiting with my parents and myself both before and after the surgeries. I remember him as a kind, compassionate, deliberate and obviously very skilled. I will forever be grateful that for the quality of life I have, if not my life itself ,that Dr. Danielson was able to deliver to me on the operating table. I thank God for his skill and my sincere condolences to all of those who love him.
I was born in 1981 with Ebsteins Anomaly and was given two weeks to live. But my parents researched to find the best Dr there was to keep me alive. And they found Dr. Danielson. So on October 9th 1991 I had open heart surgery and it was a very successful surgery. I went on to live a normal life and brought four children into this world, who were all healthy. I would have loved to personally thank Dr. Danielson for given me a second chance at life. I thank God for him and he was truly amazing . Thank you so much. And sorry to the family for your lose.
My son aged 40 arrived in 2000 with advanced Ebsteins Anomaly, and Dr.Danielson undertook a high risk surgery and successfully replaced his tricuspid valve with a porcine valve. He was out of Hospital in about 8 days. It was a miraculous intervention by a brilliant, compassionate surgeon. My son is leading an active life to date.
May his soul rest in peace.
Dr. Danielson saved my live 18 years ago on 8 Feb 2000 . He was a great and wonderful doctor and gave me the best support during my hardest time in my life. Thank you so much for saving my life .
My sincere condolences to Danielson family for during this difficult time.
My deepest sympathy to your family. Dr. Danielson performed open heart surgery on me in 1988. He gave me as normal of life as I could have imagined. I will never forget him.
Doctor Danielson performed open heart surgery on my daughter, Sarah Duzynski, on November 7, 1988. He reconstructed her tricuspid valve. She kept her own valve for 26 years until she needed a replacement. Rest in Peace Doctor Danielson.
My deepest sympathies. Such a wonderful, soft-spoken man and great surgeon. It was a honor to care for so many of his patients. You are all in my prayers. Cheryl Christofferson McKane
My deepest sympathy to Dr. Danielson family. I worked with him when we all first moved in to the ORs at the Mary Brigh building until he retired. Spent many hours with him in the OR. He was a great Surgeon and a true Gentlemen.
Sending our deepest heart-felt sympathies to all the Danielson family.
On occasion, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Danielson. Always, so appreciative of the teams help in all the precious work he did.
As difficult as it may be, fill his absence with beautiful memories to help you all through these difficult times. Peace be with you....
Tim (& Cindy) Molko
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Danielson many years ago -1970, and 1977. He was certainly one of the pillars of my education. He cared about his patients and his residents and played an important role in my life as well as in the lives of countless others.
Sorry for your loss. I was a young nurse at St Mary's in the 3D unit in the 80's. I had a young post open heart kid that had been doing poorly all night despite the fellows best intentions. Dr Danielson came in and said do this this and this.... with some tweaking of Med drips and vent settings the young patient turned around within the hour. He was a gifted practitioner and kind man to work with. He left a legacy beyond all the families and patients he helped. May your family be comforted by memories.
It was my great privilege to have known Dr. Danielson. I was profoundly saddened to hear of his passing. My sincere condolences to the family in this difficult time.
Gordon Danielson was my mentor and friend. Always a gentleman in the operating room and out, he embodied everything wonderful in an accomplished surgeon! He will always be a giant in my eyes!. My thoughts and prayers to Sondra and the kids. Chris Knott-Craig. [email protected]
I worked with Dr. Danielson for many years. He was truly a great man that helped countless children. My deepest condolences to all of the Danielson family. May God grant him peace and support to his family.
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