Hi-Hat Legend Gordy Dies at 93
CLOQUET, Minn.– For over 60 years, Gordy’s Hi-Hat restaurant has been home to good food and great family, but yesterday, they had to say goodbye to the man who started it all, and he leaves behind a legacy that touched the lives of so many people.
Since the Wednesday morning announcement of his passing, people from all over the country have been sending their condolences to the family, and Gordy’s grandson reflected on the impact Gordy had on everyone.
“He leaves behind a big legacy, and big shoes to fill, but we’re doing our best to live up to his expectations. He was a good grandfather, a good employer to all of our employees over the past 61 years, and he will be missed by a lot of people,” Sever Lundquist said.
Some loyal customers have been coming to Gordy’s Hi-Hat their whole lives, and the stories they share about Gordy, really show how much he meant.
“My grandparents grew up around here, they would always take us here, I remember before all of these other buildings were here, we were sitting in the diner area, and I think one time I got to actually see him pass by and it was kind of like ‘he’s here!’ cause he’s like the local legend you know,” Nathaniel Deboer, from the Twin Cities said.
“He’s an icon, I mean, they were just on triple D again, and everyone knows about him, and his son, and the whole family, I’m just very sad to hear that,” Cindy Purcell, an Esko Native said.
For many Northlanders, it was a ritual thing to come to Gordy’s every summer, and today, one local man who has been a Gordy’s customer since he was a kid, came by one extra time, to pay his respects, leaving a card and flowers out front, and he hopes others do the same.
Many hope Gordy’s will remain a popular family tradition for years to come.
“I hope they always, and I think they will always do it with Gordy in their hearts, and going forward I just want it to be a place I can bring my kids, and have their kids bring their kids,” Deboer said.
Gordy passed away peacefully in his sleep, at home, with his wife of 71 years, by his side.
“The restaurant business is my life, and the hi-hat has always been my life. We’ve come a long way and we’ll keep on going,” Gordy said in a 2016 interview.