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Re: A Final Farewell to Gordon Allen Kelsen, S.E. (1926-1998)

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I worked with Gordon, Joan, and Willie at Martin and Kelsen in Agoura Hills
before they moved to Entertainment Engineering this past year.  And during
that time we not only became friends but we were all like a close knit family.
We have been through some pretty sad times such as when Joan was diagnosed
with cancer or when both Willie and I lost family members to cancer.  But
there were some pretty good times too like when the Kelsen's grandchildren
were born.  Whatever it was we supported each other through it.

We were such a close knit group that we could tell each other just about
anything.  And as in most families we had our arguments.  I remember one time,
Gordon and I got in a heated debated about how to analyze something.  It got
to the point where steam was coming out of our ears.  He of course thought his
way was correct and I of course thought I was correct?typical engineers.
Finally I said, "I don't think we should talk to each other any more", and I
left the room.  Eventually, we did come to see each others point of view.  And
even though we had argued, we were rolling on the floor laughing about it at a
later time.  That's the kind of atmosphere we had in our office.

Gordon was not only my boss but he was also a mentor.  In fact when I got the
notice that I passed the structural exam, I first called my parents and then I
call him, to thank him for his support.  I've learned a lot from working with
him on a personal level as well as professional.  He enlightened me on the
technical aspects of engineering as well as the business aspects.  Having
several years of engineering experience and serving and chairing many
engineering committees Gordon had a wealth of knowledge.  Gordon was well
respected by architects and engineers alike for his enthusiasm for
engineering, his positive outlook on life, and his honesty, integrity as well
as good business ethics.  I admired and respected Gordon most for his ability
to do the right thing.  I will greatly miss him.

And lastly...I recall whenever a new edition of the UBC would come out and
Gordon had to look something up in it, he would always mention, "now why did
they have to go and change that?why don't they just leave well enough alone."
Well?I used to think to myself?oh no big?new technology?just learn the new
code.  Well the new 1997 code is slowly being adopted and there have been some
pretty major changes to it.  Ironically, now I've been reading through the UBC
and complaining about to myself saying, "why did they have to change this darn
code?  Why didn't they just leave well enough alone?"  Well I'm sure Gordon's
up there kicking back in a recliner, his bowl of snacks on one side and a nice
glass of Chardonnay wine on the other side and he's grinning from ear to ear
because he doesn't have to deal with this new code.

Goodbye Gordon, I will miss you.

Sincerely,

Michelle Kam-Biron