Gordon Wiggins was a lawyer and partner in the law firm where I once worked. He died of cancer yesterday at the age of 63. My sister, Michele, has been his secretary and confidante for close to or over 20 years. (I’m sure she’ll correct me in that, as I can’t exactly remember the year she started.)
I do remember, however, when Michele was looking to change jobs and it just so happened that Gordon was looking for a new secretary. Gordon had trouble keeping secretaries in the beginning – not because he was mean or difficult – but because he expected a lot from them. Michele quizzed me about working for Gordon and I explained what was involved. Initially thinking that we might butt heads working relatively close together, I told her if she stayed out of my way, I would stay out of hers. (It turned out we hung out with each other more than we ever had in the past.)
She got the job and despite all of those days where she “couldn’t find Gord”, she came to know and love Gordon as much, if not better, than anyone else in the firm. She threatened to leave him several times but she hung in there and soldiered on, and was known in the office as Gordon’s right hand man!!
Gordon was always an upbeat man and could never do harm to anyone, despite the fact that he could at times be ruthless when it came to representing any of his clients. When you could find Gordon (he had a habit of sneaking out of the office to run errands, attend to family matters, or just get the hell out) he was compassionate, friendly and extremely generous. He would help anyone out as best he could and we all remember how he loved those office Christmas parties. His only fault – he couldn’t stop smoking.
While I was still working I always kept a little candy dish on the corner of my desk. Once the “word” got out, any lawyer walking by would pass their hand over that dish and just like magic another candy would disappear. It was noted that Gordon, especially, had a major sweet tooth!!!! But he would refill my little dish whenever he remembered, and it would always be Gordon’s contribution that would make me smile. Marvin (one of Gordon’s colleagues) would fill my candy dish with something great from Harvest Barn, while Gordon would grab something at the bulk food department if he happened to go that way and would come by with his little twist-tied bag and dump it in.
God Bless you, Gordon, and may you now get the peace you so rightfully deserve.