January 22, 2012
Euripides wrote long ago that “one can judge a man by the company he keeps.” Assuming the classical Greek tragedian was correct, there can be little doubt that Gordy Andresen was truly a wonderful and blessed man. After his passing on January 22, 2012, I was continually humbled by the outpouring of affection for my dad (and his family) by the many wonderful people whose lives he touched during his 75 years.
During the days and weeks after dad’s passing, several people told me that I was/am my dad’s greatest legacy. Although this is a great responsibility, it is also an incredible honor that I embrace with a great amount of pride. If there is anything that I learned from a man who was 6 – 1 against being run over by a semi, a rollover Jeep, and multiple heart attacks and battles with cancer, it’s that you can’t give up when things seem to be at their worst. To that end, I have created GORD BEING GORD, NFP to keep Gord’s spirit alive by doing works of kindness and generosity in his name- while also encouraging the social interaction that my dad valued so highly. Gord got the most out of life, and this will not stop simply because his presence among us is limited to the memories of him we carry in our hearts and minds.
Why “Gord Being Gord?"
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard people say “that was just Gord being Gord” while telling stories about my dad. For me, the phrase “Gord being Gord” has multiple meanings. First, Gord was truly a sweet and kind man—albeit a sweet and kind man who also took a lot of pride in his ability to conceal these traits with his trademark querulous demeanor. It is an axiomatic truth that the more harassment Gord gave someone, the more he liked them and valued their friendship. Second, Gord was one of the most generous people I have ever met. Whether it was giving someone a ride to the grocery store (which, in later years, was a mixed blessing based on his driving abilities), finding someone a pair of tickets for an Illini game, making a pot of soup or chili, or even donating blood for someone in one instance, Gord was quick to do a favor for those around him. Finally, Gord was someone who truly lived life in the moment and got 150 years of experiences out of his 75 years. It is all of these traits (including the lovable querulous demeanor that I particularly adored) that GORD BEING GORD, NFP will honor through events and activities that will look to bring people together in the spirit of fun and camaraderie, while also raising money for worthy causes and organizations that were important to my father and best friend.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
Scott A. Andresen