Gary J. Cavender was a great man. He died last month at the age of 75, and a celebration of his life was held last week.

We worked with Gary at The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee. He came to the foundation in the late 1990s and worked there well into the 2000s. Technically, he was an “operations” guy. As such, he added value to the larger effort. As a human being, he brought so much more to Bradley and those who worked there.

Gary Cavender

For three decades, Gary had been a Milwaukee Police Department officer, which he served in its motorcycle unit. The foundation hired him to do all kinds of things—from providing security for and helping to run and maintain its headquarters, The Lion House, to making sure visiting guests and board members were comfortable (and on time to their meetings), to countless other things that no one could even predict. He did all of them, and well.

Gary had a very calming demeanor. We remember specific days at Bradley when that demeanor was particularly helpful.

He helped create a workplace atmosphere of which we were so glad to be a part, and of which we were all very proud. Some of his children were kind enough to tell us last week that he considered us “family.” As we did him.

Gary believed in the mission of the foundation, and he brought everyday common sense, an unmatched work ethic, and a rare sense of humility to it. He was so exemplary in so many ways.

We feel blessed to have known him.

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