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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