Myrna Gordon

Myrna Gordon

1948 - 2024

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Obituary of Myrna Gordon

Myrna Dell Oleson Gordon, 75, of North Liberty died surrounded by her family on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the UI Health Care Medical Center in Iowa City.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Monday, June 17, 2024, at the funeral home.

Myrna was born June 20, 1948, in Laurens, IA the daughter of Myron and Idella (Younggreen) Oleson. Myrna graduated from Laurens High School in 1966 and from the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 1970. She married Donal R. Gordon in Laurens, IA on February 5, 1972, and they had two children, Joseph and Jeffrey.

Growing up on a farm in Northwest Iowa, she learned from her mother the motto of “They can’t see how long it took you, but they can see how well you did it.” She always gave her all and her best to everything she did.

She loved making vanilla Cokes as a soda jerk at George’s Drug Store, was honorable mention in the 6-on-6 state basketball tournament, was homecoming queen, loved her 1972 blue Mustang fastback, and the home she and Don built.

After graduation from college, Myrna started working as a nurse at what is now the University of Iowa's Stead Family Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  She was instrumental in developing and managing the hospital’s first NICU in the 1970s. She provided exemplary care for patients and families for over 47 years.  Myrna served as a shining example for students and new graduates entering the field of nursing.  She was a pillar of support and friend to countless families and individuals who benefited from her care over the years.

In 1996, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses honored Myrna with the highest national award given to a neonatal bedside nurse.  She was part of research teams to author peer-reviewed papers, including one to advance the way blood sampling is performed on very low birth-weight infants. The safety practice is still in use today. In 2011, she was a UIHC Daisy Award recipient, nominated by a patient family to recognize care that went above and beyond.  Myrna retired in 2017.

When her boys were young, she enjoyed their many activities, including being a school volunteer, Cub Scout den mother, and the most vocal cheerleader for her sons when they were growing up. Myrna and Don never missed a game. Later in life, as her grandchildren came along, nothing made her prouder than being their “Nona” and watching them participate in their many activities and adventures.

Myrna’s family includes Joe and Sara Gordon; Jeff and Krissy Gordon; five grandchildren, Greta, Eleanor, Mabel, Cierra, and Jack; her brother Ron (Dea) Oleson of LaCrosse, WI; many nieces and nephews; sisters-in-law Kathy Oleson of Naperville, IL, and Mary Gordon of Iowa City; brother-in-law Dick (Sheryl) Gordon of Iowa City; several cousins; and many close friends.

Myrna was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother Gary Oleson; brothers-in-law Bob Gordon, Gary Gordon, and John Gordon.

Myrna will always be remembered as a loving Wife, Mom, “Nona,” Sister, Cousin, Caregiver, Dear Friend to Many, and someone who was willing to help anyone anytime.

Her family would like to thank the staff of UI Health Care Medical Center’s MICU, RSCCU, and countless other clinical professionals for their continued love and excellent care of Myrna over the past few weeks.

Memorial contributions in her name can be given to either the family for future giving or the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, directed to the NICU Nursing and Education Development Fund. Online condolences may be sent to her family at


Gathering for Family and Friends

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, June 17, 2024
Gay & Ciha Funeral And Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States

Funeral Service

10:30 am
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Gay & Ciha Funeral And Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States