Crash victim “always had a smile”

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | 11:08 p.m. CDT; updated 2:42 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — As police continue the investigation into the Sunday morning crash on Interstate 70 that killed 74-year-old Columbia resident Joyce Gordon, her family does not know what to make of the unexpected death.

Gordon’s daughter, Nancy Foss, said she still doesn’t know why her mother was driving on Interstate 70 at 3:30 a.m. that morning.

“She had her purse and jewelry with her —­ it looked like she was headed somewhere,” Foss said. “But she had told several people she was going to bed early Saturday night.”

Foss said that her mother had friends in Boonville with whom she played cards, but that she could not imagine her mother out so late because Gordon normally avoided driving at night.

Gordon had no recent medical problems, Foss said, and was splitting time for the past five years between Columbia and her home in Florida, where her son Jim lives.

Just last week, Gordon baby-sat her grandchildren while Foss and her husband were on vacation.

“My son said she was waiting for them when they got home from school at the front door with a big smile on her face,” Foss said. Her mother’s personality, she said, was such that “she did not know a stranger.”

Gordon was a retired nurse. She had lived in Columbia since 1954. Her husband, Ralph, died in 1993.

Foss described her mother as someone who loved music, playing the piano, singing, dancing and having a good time.

“She always had a smile,” Foss said.

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