DLS Consulting

A Tribute to Gordon Heffern  

Rarely has a man touched so many people as our friend Gordon Heffern.  His heart and his generosity overflowed in every direction to share the goodness of God's blessings.  One of Gordon's dreams was to see over a billion dollars flow into the Christian Community Foundation that he helped to found called In His Steps.  This dream was not to brag but to know that Christian organizations and the churches that provide the life blood for our community would have the resources to succeed in sharing the Gospel.  He truly understood the calling of God to be salt and light in the place where God places you in this life.  How refreshing that a man who was at once the CEO of KeyBank, and one of the community's leaders in Northeast Ohio, also was such a devoted man of God.  He respected everyone and was never ashamed to declare himself a Christian even if it meant greater scrutiny or criticism. 

Talk to people who knew Gordon in the business community and they would declare the level of integrity that he brought to the table was unparalleled .  Talk to members of the clergy from churches all over America and those who met Gordon would tell you of his encouragement to the work of the Lord.  Talk to his family and they would talk about the model he left them for hard work, and diligence in every aspect of their lives.  Talk to his friends and they would tell you they never missed a chance to be around Gordon because he made every person feel important.  Talk to a stranger who just met Gordon and they would never know that CEO's could be like Gordon.  It is unlikely any top executive was more cordial to the average work a day person.  Talk to me and I could spend every MMM for the next year bringing you stories about Gordon.

Gordon would always try to find parts of our lives that we held in common and we talked often about both of us having grown up on a farm and the lessons we learned there about hard work.  This could sometimes come back to haunt you though, as Gordon loved to schedule meetings early in the morning.  That farming thing of  "early to bed, early to rise" really got instilled in Gordon, and everytime he asked me to join him somewhere in ministry, he would remind me that the meetings would start early in the morning!  When I left the farm, I left almost everything behind including getting up at 5am to milk the cows.  When I offered resistance to those meeting times, Gordon reminded me that I did it as a young man, and I should be able to do it now!  Gordon was a 24/7 faithful steward while here on earth and I will even miss him at 5 in the morning.

One thing I am sure of!  If God is looking for someone to help him on the early morning watch, Gordon has already volunteered for that duty!  Thank you God for allowing Gordon to be in our midst these 80 plus years.  We are all better for his witness to all of us! 


Sent August 27 , 2007

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