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TGB Orders Flags at Half Mast to Honor Two-Time Chairman Gordon Thayer

By Joe Morey

News Editor


Former Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Chairman, Gordon Thayer, passed away on Friday, August 19 at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. Thayer served 16 years on the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB), seven of those as the Chair. In his honor, the TGB announced the Tribal Government offices would be closed on Thursday, August 25, when his services will take place at the LCO Assembly of God in Signor at 10:00 am.


In a statement, the TGB said, “Out of respect of the passing of our relative Gordon Charles Thayer, the Tribal Governing Board is directing that all Tribal Government businesses lower the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal, State and Federal Flags to half-mast and to close Tribal Government offices, with the exception of Tribal Enterprises to remain open. Gordon C. Thayer was elected to five terms on the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board, serving a total of 16 years, with three terms as Tribal Chairman."


Gordon was first elected to the LCO TGB in 1977 at the age of 32. He was chosen to be Secretary-Treasurer and the following year, LCO Vice Chairman. Just two years later in 1980, Gordon was chosen by his peers to serve as Chairman of LCO, where he would remain until 1985. Gordon served on the board from 1977 until 1985.


Gordon was elected to another term on the Board from 1992 to 1994, and then was re-elected to the Board in 2011 where he was chosen to serve as Chairman once again till 2013. He remained on the Board till 2015.

Gordon organized and conducted Sobriety Fridays at the Tribal Office where members would find an alternative good time rather than drinking. People attending the weekly events would sing and share stories of faith and sobriety. Gordon enjoyed singing and playing his guitar at these events.


“Famous” Dave Anderson, an LCO Tribal Member and founder of the large restaurant chain Famous Dave's, posted a tribute to Facebook where he acknowledged Gordon as his inspiration of going on to Harvard University in the 1980’s and achieving his Master’s Degree. He would later go on to found the restaurant chain and credit Gordon for that happening.


“Gordon was the one responsible for me going to Harvard and I thought he was crazy as I shared with him that I about flunked out of high school but told me I could do it. He pushed me, he believed in me, and he was nonstop in encouraging me to go for it! And in 1986 I got my Masters from Harvard,” Anderson posted.


Anderson continued, “In addition to being Tribal Chair at a time of great growth for the LCO Tribe, he was very proud of his service as an Air Force Para Rescue and in leadership positions on a national level including the National Congress of American Indians in Washington DC.”


The following is the Obituary for Gordon C. Thayer

Gordon C. Thayer, age 77, of Lac Courte Oreilles, went on to be with the Lord, Friday, August 19, 2022, at VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN


Gordon Charles Thayer was born March 14, 1945, in Eau Claire, WI, the son of Charlie “Man” Thayer & Bernice Webster. Gordon treasured family, friends, military, ministry & Native Communities. He loved by the moto “So others may live” and made a huge imprint on the world while changing lives of people wherever he went. This is Gordon’s Beautiful Legacy! Until our hearts meet again.


He is survived by his wife Sheila; sons Charlie & Robbie Thayer; daughter Rachel (Jimmy) Mlinarcik; brothers Donald Webster, George (Dena) Thayer, Gerald Thayer, Tom Thayer & Daniel (Sheila) Thayer; sisters Beverly (Bob) Potack “Little Miiigwitch & Tony”, Catherine (Jeff) Crone, Elaine Saltz, Marcia (Mark) Yanez & Susan Vega; Granchildren Jordon & Korrie Kleven, Haileigh (Jake) Willey, Paige, Cameron, Hunter, Grace, Kaiden, Tanner, Cedar & Ayden; great grandchildren Jayce, Evelyn, Mckenna, & Willow; along with many nieces & nephews.


Gordon was preceded in death by his mother Bernice & father Charlie; brothers Lynn Thayer & Howie Webster; sisters Jane Mitchell & Marilyn Reyes.


Come and Celebrate the Life of Gordon Thayer. The Funeral Service will be held 10:00 a.m., Thursday, August 25, 2022, at LCO Assembly of God Church in Signor. Rev. Tim Warner & Pastor Debbie Wilber will officiate. Military Honors will be accorded by LCO AMVETS Post #1998 and the State of Wisconsin Military Honors Team. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 24th at the church.


Honorary casket bearers will be Dave Anderson, Ken Bedeau, Dan Grover, Jack Plueger, Adam Thayer, Anthony Thayer, Charlie Thayer, Jeremy Thayer, Otis Thayer & Robbie Thayer.

Casket bearers will be Tyler Guibord, Jordan Kleven, Preston Miller Sr., John Thayer, Stephen Thayer, Stevie Mo Thayer, Michael Webster & Javier Yanez.


Online condolences can be made at pineviewfuneralservice.com