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Alexander Swan Lawrie

Funeral service: today, 2 p.m., Rideau Funeral Home chapel, 4275 Sources Blvd., DDO.

The sudden death on February 28 of Alex Lawrie, 55, recently retired from Concordia, was a tremendous shock to those who knew and worked with him. Born in Glasgow, Alex started as an office equipment mechanic in the Distribution Centre in 1970, joined Purchasing Services in 1979, and became senior buyer in 1984. The news elicited an outpouring of emotion, and many used the staff news group, Shoptalk, to express the loss they felt, to reminisce about Alex, and to offer heartfelt condolences to his family, including his wife, Donna Lang.

Here is a sample of the postings:

For those of us whose working life was sparked and inspired by his blunt, uncensored wit, his integrity and loyalty, mischief and ferocious passion for life, it is a great loss.

- David Gobby

The sudden death of Alex Lawrie came as a shock to me. Though I did not know Alex very well, he always greeted me whenever we met on campus or on the street. I remember Alex from the mid-'70s when he used to come to the Admissions Office to service our typewriters. I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to his wife and family.

- Edith Malik

Way back in the mid-'70s when Alex lived in Ville St. Laurent and I lived on the next street (before I had a car), Empty Picture BoxAlex would drive me to and from work when I worked in the Norris building. Let me tell you, he knew every short cut there was, and during bus strikes, if he saw a person needing a lift, he would stop and ask if they were going downtown. My deepest sympathy to Donna and his family in Scotland.

- Sandy La Fontaine

He and I used to meet at Fred Sauer's office on a Friday night, way back when, and go out for a drink with the staff in Student Accounts in the Norris Building. We would share some great stories and enjoy a drink, or two, or three. . . It seemed we could take the simplest of discussions and turn them into fiery debates or talk about a humorous comment and develop it into an hysterically funny story. I can't imagine what his family members are going through at this time, but I would like to wish Alex a wonderful trip -- and ask him to hold a bar stool for me! The folks in Education will miss him.

- Sue O'Connell

Amidst the many fond memories, I will particularly recall Alex as the coach of the staff/faculty hockey team that played the Lady Stingers a few seasons ago. Amidst the general pandemonium on the bench created by trying to keep up with the younger and faster Stingers, Alex would calmly take individual players aside to explain the finer points of the game before throwing them back into the battle and then treating them to a caustic dose of his "blunt, uncensored wit ... and ferocious passion for life" for immediately forgetting everything he had just said. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

- Laurie Zack

Just nine days ago, I visited with Alex in his hospital room at the Montreal General. He had had surgery four days prior and was still groggy with morphine. "I'm just fine, enjoying retirement and don't miss Concordia at all!" he said in his customary Scottish brogue. "Well, you know what I mean. I don't miss the work, but I sure do miss the people." His qualified retraction came as a relief to me because I had come bearing gifts of a few bottles of iced tea and newspapers. Later, on bidding bid him farewell, I sauntered down the corridor only to realize that I had left my briefcase in his room. Upon my return, what did I find? There was Alex, propped up in bed, sporting reading glasses low on his nose while perusing the Thursday Report. He looked up, gave me that trademark impish grin, and looked very much like a little boy who had just been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar.

- Bob MacIver

The "Old Man" is really gone now, leaving us behind with silence and a big empty space. Of course the old man was not old, nor will he ever be. But for us, Alex was a remarkable source of inspiration and a hell of good buyer, entirely devoted to serve, defend and protect the interest of our University. Thank you for everything, Alex.

- Daniel Faucher

Copyright 1999 Concordia's Thursday Report.