Laura Belle Gordy


Mrs. Laura Belle Gordy, 92, of Onley, a longtime District 7 representative on the Accomack Board of Supervisors, passed away Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

She said her greatest pleasures in life were being called “Mother” and “Granny.” Her many accomplishments were celebrated by former Governor George Allen, who in 1997 declared her birthday be Laura Belle Gordy Day throughout Virginia.

In February 2020, both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate voted to pass resolutions of commendation regarding the many improvements to Accomack County that occurred during Gordy’s tenure, including the development of Saw Mill Recreational Park at the former Jones Lumber Yard near Accomac, the establishment of the Wallops Research Park, and construction of new schools and convenience centers, among many other things in the past three decades.

Laura Belle was born Dec. 29, 1930, in Tasley to the late Alfred T. Duncan Sr. and the late Minnie Ross Duncan. She graduated from Onancock High School in 1948, attended Hicks Beauty Academy, and was an independent operator for 20 years.

Gordy was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1988 and served as the panel’s chairperson in 1990, 1994, 2004, 2010, and 2012. She decided not to run for re-election in November 2019 and retired at the end of her term in December.

She also served on the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, the Accomack Social Services Board of Directors, the Eastern Shore Agency on Aging Community Action Board, the Solid Waste Management Committee, the Accomack Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees, the Accomack County Agricultural/Forestal Committee, the Eastern Shore Community College Board, the Eastern Shore Health Advisory Board, the Delmarva Advisory Board, the Local Government Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Atlantic Rural Exposition Board of Directors (Richmond State Fair), and the Conference, Planning, Health and Human Resources and Nominating Committee for the Virginia Association of Counties. Gordy was on the Eastern Shore Tourism Commission and served as chairperson for five years.

She was also appointed to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Advisory Board by Gov. Jim Gilmore and she served on the Regional Economic Development Advisory Council for District 8 and on First Lady Susan Allen’s Advisory Council.

She was very involved with the local hospital. For more than 20 years she was on the Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. During that time she was assistant treasurer, manager of the hospital’s Carousel Gift Shop for more than 15 years, chairperson of the Charity Ball for 2 years, was on the Executive, Finance and Long-range Planning Committee, and was chairperson of public relations. Gordy was also a past president of the Shore Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

Socially, she was past president of the Women’s Club of Accomack County, the Eastern Shore Business and Professional Women’s Local Organization, Onancock Emblem Club #195 as a charter member and 50 year member, Order of the Moose, Past Worthy Matron of the Onancock Order of the Eastern Star #82, Mildred Stephenson #117 Order of the Eastern Star and Temperanceville Chapter #88 Order of the Eastern Star.

In 2000 Gordy was President of the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and traveled throughout the commonwealth. She also served as president of the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Board of Trustees.

Laura Belle was predeceased by her husband, John A. “Jack” Gordy Sr. and siblings, Pearl Duncan Littleton, Bessie Duncan Custis, Alfred T. Duncan Jr., and William H. “Billy” Duncan and wife, Barbara Jean.

She is survived by her sons, James Alfred “Mac” Mackie and wife, Elsie, and Robert Bates “Bobby” Taylor Sr., and wife, Susan; her niece, whom she considered a daughter, Billye D. Custis and husband, John Dennis; grandchildren, James Alfred “Jamie” Mackie Jr. and wife, Colleen, Laurie Hope Mackie, Robert Bates “Bobby” Taylor Jr. and wife, Talia, and Willie Taylor and wife, Gina; great-grandchildren, Noelle Bailey, Bailey Bates Taylor, Bobby Bates Taylor III, Ellen Grace Taylor, Guthrie Preston Mackie, and Landria Taylor; and a brother-in-law, Rosebud Custis.

No services are planned at this time.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Funeral arrangements are by the Thornton Funeral Home in Parksley.

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