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My Memories of Civie

John Dougherty


Civie was at first a colleague, but became a partner, collaborator, and most importantly, a dear friend.  I’ll remember him in many ways, but especially for the following:

Hard Worker:  5 days on the road, Saturday in the office writing reports; never shirked from a challenge or a project;  if he committed to something, he dove in full blast.

Smart, but Daring:  He mastered his job, his field, his interests.  But he wasn’t afraid to take on new ideas, he was one of the first among us old MRP consultants to learn about (and teach) JIT and Lean Manufacturing.

Teacher:  He could put it in terms anyone could understand.  He understood and empathized with his audience.

Problem-Solver:  He helped his clients improve, deliberately, step-by-step.

Persistent (Stubborn):  Once he dug in, he followed through to the end, no shaking him off.  You could count on him.

Proud:  Not really of himself, though he had reason to be.  But every conversation and phone call was filled with stories and updates about his 5 grandchildren – he loved them so much and took great pride in their growth, development and accomplishments.  And of his friends – if perchance you got something right, I can hear him saying; “I’m proud of you”.  That meant a lot because it wasn’t easily earned.

Sporting:  I loved hearing about his (sometimes epic) hunting and fishing trips.  I liked feasting on his catch even more.  He loved, understood and followed most sports closely.  In the view of some he was unfortunate in his choice of favorite teams (Yankees, Lakers and Irish), but you could count on an in-depth, thoughtful and realistic discussion and analysis of the latest sports news.

Sporty:  He had a sartorial style all his own.  Who knew they made jogging suits in that many shades of purple.

Down-to-Earth:  Watch out if you got full of yourself.  If you were a friend, he would “take the piss out of you”, as the Brits say; if not, he’d ignore you.  My wife Gay was endlessly trying on different dresses for our wedding reception, and struggling to select the best one – while Civie and I sat downstairs digesting bourbon and the latest sports news.  Hearing her uncertainty, he solved her dilemma with this observation:  “Frankly Gay, nobody….. gives a shit…nobody.”  There isn’t a month that goes by that we don’t walk away from an overblown problem by remembering his sage assessment.

Clever, Witty, Funny:  I never had a discussion with him that didn’t include heartfelt laughter.

Sincere:  Every opinion was from the heart, no pretense – what you saw was what you got.

A Great Listener:  Not an easy job if you had colleagues and friends as verbose as me (and others, you know who you are).    At times I thought the telephone line had gone dead, but he was there, giving you all the time in the world, his total attention, and sometimes enough rope to hang yourself.  Never interrupted, you got your chance before he gave you his thoughts.

Caring:  He cared about what was right, and he cared about his family, friends, clients and colleagues.  He let you know he cared about you.

The world’s a little poorer with him gone, but we’re all a lot richer for having known him.

And by the way, he may have been wrong about one thing:   Civie, we did, and do, give a shit about you!