How many people do you know, that when you hear their voice, it breaks your concentration, makes you smile, jump out of your chair, bound out of your office, and straight to them?
For me, for the past eight years, I have been fortunate to have it happen whenever Mr. Gordon Conrad came into the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia offices. His booming voice, proclaiming how lucky he was to be in our offices. You knew by his voice that is was accompanied with a smile. A big smile that was friendly and welcoming.
We were a lucky organization, to have more than just Gordon’s visits, but for him to visit thousands in his community. For 15 years, Gordon was a door to door volunteer. Using his talents to help raise close to $150,000 during his time as a canvasser. You can read about him reaching $100,000 here. A milestone he reached in 2012 and to which we celebrated with a bottle of his favorite beverage.
Gordon was the first volunteer I worked with when I came to the Society in 2007. During the seven years before, he had met lots of Door to Door coordinators like me. In fact, our running joke was him asking, “How long are you going to be around?” And me asking him the same thing.
There were many times I was invited into his and Shirley’s home, to help him with his door to door collection. And on a few of those occasions, we balanced books over homemade wine and chocolates out of the candy dish. I learned that Gordon was in the military, was employed with the same company for decades and was passionate about his commitment to the Masonic Lodge. I feel very fortunate to have been invited into their home, but also into their lives.
When Gordon realized I was going to be the coordinator for a while, the running joke changed to “When are you going to get married? I better be invited.” Less a question and more a given, as I would make sure he knew if and when the day ever came.
When you work with volunteers, you quickly realize how special all of them are; they give of their time, they give from their heart, many have a passion for what they do. That was Gordon to a T. I feel very fortunate to have had a chance to work with him.
The halls of our offices will be even quieter, knowing they will never again echo with the sound of his laughter.
My thoughts, our thoughts, are with Shirley, his children, grandchildren, his family and friends.
To read Gordon's obituary, click here.