Today I received some news that I knew was coming but had been dreading. The senior attorney I worked for at the law firm where I was employed some 15 years passed away on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009. He was affectionately called “Mr. Ed” by us girls at work. He was a no-nonsense man, you either liked him or you didn’t….he could be very intimidating at times but if you got to know him and did a good job, you quickly found out he was just a big ole teddy bear. He expected a good day’s work for a good day’s pay. All the attorneys at the firm called him “Chief.” He was a staunch Catholic and would joke with everyone who wasn’t saying he was going to have the Pope pray for us heathens! At times, he liked to pull rank over the main attorney I worked for and would have me stop what I was doing and have me transcribe his tapes or finish up some work on a loan closing. He always ended his tapes by saying “….that’s all honey, clean ‘er up.”
Mr. Ed was married to the love of his life for many, many years. He always treated his wife with the greatest respect and I never heard him call her anything but “Honey.” He and Ms. Gloria would meet for lunch every day and then she would come to the office around 3:00. He always got happy when she arrived and he made sure she had her Coke on her desk shortly after she arrived. He would always ask me to drive Ms. Gloria home when one of their cars were in the shop or he needed someone to take her home if he couldn’t. They ate at only two restaurants for many years and at one of those restaurants, he had his own table and bib (for spills!) and they keep a special brand of ice cream for him on hand. They even named a sandwich after his wife!
Every year he and Ms. Gloria went on vacation and he always brought back a small gift for his “girls” as he called us. The last gift he gave me was a set of beautiful napkins they got on a trip to the New England states….I still treasure those to this day.
Mr. Ed loved children. He kept lollipops in his office for the children of the attorneys or secretaries who came to visit.
You could set your clock by his comings and goings…..always at the office by 9:00 a.m., left for lunch from 12:30 to 2:00 every day and was at the office long after everyone else had gone home. He was never out sick, even when you could tell he didn’t feel good. He moved at a fast pace, he would put a man 30 years younger than him to shame at the speed he moved and worked!
Mr. Ed was a great Alabama football fan who never missed a game until his later years. There was a story that circulated that he almost ran over a state trooper who did not know who he was and who tried and stop him from parking in “his” place! I dare say that state trooper remembered this stately gentlemen the next time he saw him!
Mr. Ed attended the University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama where he received his J.D. in 1947. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1947 and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961. He held many important positions with the State of Alabama for many years. He was one of the foremost real estate attorneys in the State of Alabama and handled millions of dollars of real estate transactions over the years.
Since I left the firm six years ago, I have kept up with him. I knew his health had taken a turn for the worse after the first of this year. I saw him in early February at a local grocery store and when I went to hug him, he felt like a bag of bones. Then just last week, I ran into another attorney at the firm who was on his was to see Mr. Ed in the hospital. I was told that Mr. Ed had lost his will to live.
Mr. Ed…..I loved you and will miss you.
Edward J. Azar – October 1924 – April 12, 2009