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|Douglas B Gardner
Date of Birth: October 5, 1961
Position: Executive Managing Director – Cantor Fitzgerald, Vice Chairman – Espeed
My beautiful Douglas. He was my gentle giant, my partner-in-crime, the source of my laughter, my biggest supporter, my hero and protector and the love of my life. After only six and a half years of marriage, we were still courting and romancing, still reveling in discovering new things about each other and still appreciating every moment spent together.
Doug loved his family above all. He adored his parents and wanted to honor them by doing well and doing it the right way. He maintained a close and special relationship with his sister Danielle. Our beautiful children, Michael (5) and Julia (3), were the payoff for all the hard work, the meaning behind Doug’s success, the outlet for his gentleness, kindness and patience. From the instant Doug walked in the door at night, my son and daughter were attached to his legs like barnacles. Games of hide and seek would start before he could take his wallet and change out of his pockets. Books were thrust into his hand for story time, with Julia under one large arm and Michael under the other. Doug was an earnest father – every weekend he’d routinely take the kids to a local diner for silver dollar pancakes and milk shakes. He introduced them to the great pleasure of lying prone on the couch to watch the latest Knick game or Tiger Woods golf tournament. For me, watching my six foot four husband carefully attempt to attach a bow to Julia’s hair or gently encourage Michael to ride a two-wheel bicycle were the epitome of what Doug was as a father.
Doug’s great success in business was a big part of his legacy, but his personal relationships were what truly defined my husband. Doug had longtime friends from every part and every phase of his life–from his boyhood in New York and summers on Fire Island, from Haverford College and Cantor, and from the playgrounds and gyms where he played basketball. He was at the center of all these groups, the connection that kept them together. His famous Super Bowl parties drew scores of people from all his diverse groups, people with nothing in common but their friendship with Doug, people who through him became friends with each other. Doug kept his friends because he was himself a true friend–loyal, kind, and generous–but also because he was fun, always prepared to compete, to play, to have a good time and share it with others. He was a listener, a keeper of secrets, a big brother figure, a big guy with a hearty laugh who radiated confidence and made people feel good about themselves.
At Cantor, Doug could never turn anyone away from his door; he always tried to provide an answer or assist in finding a solution. Doug’s career was important to him, but never more important than the people around him. His loyalty to Cantor, along with his work ethic and business talent, helped make him successful, but he was always humble and remained the same guy he had always been. Giving back to the community was a priority for Doug, and his work as a volunteer for charitable causes got the same intense focus he brought to his career.
Doug was a noble man of pure heart. His spirit lives on forever in Michael and Julia who reflect all that was good in him. I will always feel lucky that we had each other, and that we created so much good together in such a short time.
Doug was my husband’s best friend. He was godfather to our children. He was literally the nicest man you’d ever want to know, the man with the biggest heart who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. When I think of Doug, I think of his enormous smile, his big bear hugs and the loving way he called me ‘Alli’. I think of the way he played with my boys- wrestling with them on the ground and letting them jump all over him. I think of the adoring way he looked at his beautiful Jennifer, the way every husband should look at his wife. One of my fondest memories is the first time Doug held Kyle in his arms after Kyle was born, how he looked at him with amazement and wonder and how Kyle looked like such a peanut in Doug’s big, warm arms. Doug was a tremendous presence in our lives, a part of our family. Howard and I, and Jennifer and Doug were a team. We went out together practically every week, we travelled together, we celebrated together, we talked about everything and shared everything, together. Doug met Jennifer soon after Howard and I met, and they got married 4 months after us. We were as close as four friends could be for the last 8 years and I am forever grateful that we had that time and created so many spectacular memories. Doug will forever live on in us as he does in Jennifer, Michael and Julia. I love you and miss you terribly, Doug.
You were a true friend.
At Haverford you were a great roommate, even after you came back from London and
wanted to replace all of our Grateful Dead bootlegs with Madness and Haircut 100. In New
York, well, I would have kicked me off your couch after a while, but you were always the
generous host and never did.
You really were like a big brother, a leader by example. You touched many lives, and you
were well-loved, and you will not be forgotten.
If I could define Doug in one word it would be caring.
I’ll never forget the time you took out of your busy schedule to attend my baby shower in 98′ or the time you shook hands with my husband at the company picnic and said how valuable I was to the firm. I’m sure many who worked for you have similar experiences.
To Michael and Julia, your father’s love was never confined to the home. He took you with him everywhere. Both your names will always be my all time favorite “passwords.”
To Jennifer, Doug and you, Michael and Julia’s pictures were usually the highlight of my visits to Doug’s office. It was clear he loved you very much and adored the children. God bless and keep you.
Thanks for caring Doug,
Doug was a gentle man, who changed my life.
I had the privilege of sharing a room with him for the better part of a year while we were 20 years old in London — one of the best times of my life. He earned my respect through his kindness, work ethic, commitment towards family, decency and playful nature. I never saw Doug display a cynical side.
As we moved on, he accepted my wife as another friend and supported her art career. Doug was so good at that. Friends. He had so many — and of all types. It’s remarkable how many people he introduced me to — repetitively since we would all attend his parties and other events — who became my own friends.
Doug did a lousy job roasting me at my wedding. Of course! Making fun of people — poking at their flaws — was not in his nature. I adored Doug at that moment. I knew he felt uncomfortable embarassing me. He built people up. Doug was a supporter.
I watched him at Haverford, Lehman, P&J, Cantor. He matured — and lost much hair — but retained his sweet nature. Doug remained humble, concerned and supportive. Then he met Jennifer. I never saw him beam like the time he introduced me to her for the first time, in front of the Metropolitan Museum. And, I will always remember watching Doug read Michael to sleep.
I miss you. But, I’ll always carry you around, as a role model guiding me towards the good path — of decency towards my fellow man.
It’s so hard to believe that you are not here, righting all the wrongs and fixing all the problems. You were a great person to work with and for. Your decency always prevailed in the situations that were questionable. I send my love, support and condolences to your wife and children. This is a very difficult time in all of our lives. I hope your family and loved ones can rejoice in your influence on all of us, and the impact you had on our lives. I am so sorry to hear of your passing. I hope to see you again, sometime, on the other side. There, we’ll have the laughter and good times we deserved. I will keep your family in my nightly prayers. I will always pray for the repose of your soul. May God bless and protect you now and forever.
peg and bert chappell
Every day I miss your presence in my life, your strong brotherly arm on my shoulder and your kind and gentle guidance. You were an extraordinary brother-in-law; you were the best. I miss your smile, your laugh, and the sound of your ankles clicking as you walked down the hall. I miss the many evening phone calls from you asking for my help because Jennifer was relentlessly, though playfully, teasing you. I miss being beckoned by you when Michael or Julia was sick or when you didn’t feel well, knowing that I’d always be there, as you were always there for me. You always made me feel important, needed and loved. I’ll never forget the look of fear mixed with excitement on your face when Jennifer was in labor with Michael and you asked me to stay for the delivery. I was so honored that you wanted to share that incredible experience with me, one that helped to bring me closer to you and Jennifer. From that moment on I was no longer just Jayme, but forever “Aunt Jayme”, a title and role that I cherish. I smile when I look at Michael and see your kind spirit in him, and laugh while watching Julia play, enjoying every second of life as you always did. Thank you Douglas for loving my sister so completely – your relationship was and continues to be an inspiration to me. Your love, support and generosity were unending and I am grateful for the time we shared together. I love you and will forever miss you.
When I think about Doug, I definitely have to say “genuine”. I remember meeting Doug for the first time in the Summer of 2000 when I had started with the firm – and I was so nervous.
He approached me and introduced himself because he knew how nervous and speechless I was. He always teased me about that after that day – just shows how great a man he is. Tremendous sense of humor, approachable and real, just like my boss –
His office was on 105, but yet he always came down to 101 and always said “Hi” to everyone and always took the time to stop and chat and peak in our offices/cubicles to say something funny or even just a simple hello.
There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t miss the “Mary” jokes (he used to call me that as a joke – when someone in a meeting called me Mary by mistake) or the times you waved me in to just walk on into your office because you knew I had respected you so much and would never intrude.
May God bless you and your family Doug.
Jennifer, we never met, but had spoken briefly. I wish for you and your children peace, love and the continued courage and determination that you have continued to demonstrate.
I have over the years met Doug a few times and whilst I never had the opportunity to see him on a daily basis being in Europe I still feel his presence as well as the presence of other beloved and great colleagues we have departed from. I have his image stored in my head and it’s a nice one and one I will not forget.
Bright, articulate, thoughtful, patient, athletic, genuine, honorable, handsome and just a good guy. From my description, you could say Doug Gardner was the total package of a man. I’m glad he was my direct boss. I’m glad he was my brother-in-law’s best friend. It just meant that I got to spend more time with him than most. I’m left with two very special recent memories of my time with Doug. One was over the summer playing golf in the Hamptons. We walked and played 18 holes in under 2 hrs. Nobody that has ever played golf with me before believes that story. The second memory and the one that will be in my heart and soul forever, was a perfect Sunday in Central Park with my family and Doug’s. Everyone was so happy together, playing with the kids, riding bikes, eating ice cream. Just a normal day in the park. But very special in my mind. It was like watching the American Dream right before my eyes. Success, happiness, beautiful families. I will always miss those two special moments the most. But, I will never forget what I learned from that. Doug, I miss you very much. Say hello to Fred, Joe, Gary, Jonathan and Greg. Take care of each other.
Not a day goes by that I don’t remember all of the people at Cantor Fitzgerald who lost their lives on that tragic day. And there are a few people in particular, who I think about every day. Doug Gardner is one of those people.
Shortly before I left the firm in ’99, Doug was one of the people I worked for, while the position I normally reported to was vacant. He was a very special person at Cantor. A smart businessman. But more importantly, a man who cared about his family more than anything in the world. A man with a huge heart. A genuine person who was kind to everyone. A person who took the time to get to know the people at Cantor, no matter what level of position they held.
I remember my last day with the firm — Doug paid me a visit to wish me luck and say good-bye. Then I had the pleasure of riding the elevator down with him at the end of that day, when he told me I was an asset to the firm and I would be missed.
My heart aches for the family that meant everything to Doug. I will never forget Doug Gardner.
When I started with the Desktop Group in 1999, Doug was one of the first people I supported, and being new with the company he made me feel comfortable in a new situation. As time went on I eventually got to know Jennifer, Michael and Julia, often going to Doug’s home to help him out with his computer. Again he made me feel comfortable and trusted. There really isn’t enough space to say all the things I would like about Doug, I will just say that irregardless of his position with the firm, he was as regular a guy as they come, always saying hello and asking how things were, he even came to play basketball with us on several occasions. Doug is missed!!!
Unfortunately, I did not know Doug very long or very well. I reported to him at Cantor for only a short time before I left the company to marry and move to London for my husbands job in 1994. Despite the brevity of our work relationship and the number of years that have passed since I’ve been to Cantors’ offices,I have only the most positive memories of Doug. He was always very kind, courteous, fair and professional. He was willing to listen, even to someone he could afford to be dismissive to. He was a very special man and I am so very, very sorry to hear of his loss. I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Dear Doug, you helped everyone realize that executives are people too. You always had a smile on your face, always said Hello. Your family should be proud of you. Always
Doug, I’ll always remember you for your apparent contradictions. Strong yet gentle. Intelligent yet humble. Strong willed yet open minded. Focused yet caring. I’ll always remember your integrity, your humor, your smile, and your heart. But most of all, Doug, I’ll always remember the way you passionately loved your family and your friends. Rest well, good soul.
I liked when we went to Reebok, and when we went there the cool thing I liked to do was play basketball with you. I liked when you helped me dunk. I liked watching you play basketball in Fire Island. You were number 10 last summer and number 33 when you won the championship.
I liked going to the “red restaurant” with you. I liked having silver dollar pancakes and milkshakes with you on Sundays. And I liked watching Cartoon Network with you there.
My daddy was one of the heroes. I feel sad Daddy’s not here. I love you Daddy forever and infinity.
They say that Douglas Gardner was an honest man, a gentle soul, a man who put ethics and family first and foremost, an honorable and successful business man, an incredible caretaker and provider and a wonderful husband and dad, brother and son. But to me, the most remarkable thing about Doug, the thing that everyone needs to know if they don’t already, is how incredibly happy he made my dear friend Jennifer, what a perfect husband he was for her, what a perfect match they made.
I have known Jennifer since we were both 18 years old at Tufts University. Enter (and exit), various boyfriends for each of us. And then, enter DOUG.
Doug was everything a young woman would want! Handsome, brilliant (Haverford grad), personable, witty, gentlemanly, a success in business, nice family, heart of gold. And Doug had a soft spot for my beautiful and brilliant friend, Jennifer. Uh oh. Now that last one could have been a problem – you know how young women can be: similar to young girls, in that they run away from the boys who want to kiss them!
But thankfully, Doug was confident. Confident that he could win the heart of the woman he was falling for. Confident that he could woo her with the good (and adorable) man that he was, aided by that powerful tool for wooing intellectual and clever women, the well-written word.
Of course, we all know about the cards Doug wrote to Jennifer. Thank God for those cards. They say so much about not only his intelligence, wit and warmth, but they say so much about his love and devotion to Jennifer.
And that love and devotion was Jennifer’s rock and will ALWAYS be so.
Some people fancy themselves to be what Douglas Gardner really was in his time here on earth. A TRUE mensch. Loyal to those he had vowed to be loyal to. Loyal to those who needed him. If you were in Doug’s posse, you were one lucky and well-cared-for human being. And Jennifer will always have that.
I love you Jennifer. And I will always remember how happy Doug made you. And I will always be grateful to him for treating my dear friend the way every woman deserves to be treated.
Doug was one of the few people on the executive floor that was always friendly and nice. He would always say hello and genuinely inquire how you were. As a professional, Doug was always available to assist. I’ll always remember the Credit Committee Meeting where I made a remark and only Doug took me seriously. Well Doug, I just wanted to let you know that prediction came true and thank you for your support. It was a pleasure working with you. You and your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
Doug was a giant man. He was a giant in so many ways. A giant with his wonderful family – two beautiful children and a beautiful and loving wife. A giant professionally – one of the most senior executives at a profitable and growing company. A giant outside and inside – a big guy with a bigger heart.
I was fortunate to meet Doug through business, but truly lucky to see him outside of that role, as a warm and caring person. I certainly remember Doug in our business interaction, but the most vivid memories have little to do with work. I remember being in his office one day and Doug proudly showing me family photos. I remember running into Doug outside of his apartment one evening, watching fireworks while holding Michael in his arms. I remember scheduling a business meeting with Doug, but him telling me it might have to be cancelled since Jennifer was due to deliver Julia near that date. I remember Doug giving me a ride to the funeral of a mutual friend’s mother. I remember Doug’s genuine warmth and decency. And I remember the impression he left upon the people he met, which was probably best reflected in the overflow crowd at his memorial service.
Doug Gardner’s absence from this world is one of the greatest losses from September 11. The only consolation is that his greatness lives on, through his family and the memories he gave those fortunate enough to know him.
No Farewell Words Were Spoken,
No Time To Say Goodbye,
You Were Gone Before We Knew It,
And Only G-d Knows Why
Doug was charismatic, vivacious and happy.
His smile was contagious. He embraced life.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I was fortunate to be your friend. I miss your presence. So many call you a friend because of your loyalty , generosity and magnetic personality. You took care of everyone because that was your way. I cherish all the great times that we shared. I enjoyed so much with you. Playing basketball together (we knew each other’s move in advance, sleepovers as a kid, and young adults enjoying the city. One fond memory sticks out. You insisted on watchimg me in court during one of my first trials. None of my other friends had any interest but you wanted to see what I did for a living. I was a rookie and did not really know what I was doing. Your encouragement and support meant a lot to me. I miss you and I miss that we won’t grow old together. But, you will always be in my heart and thoughts.
Yesterday was another Super Bowl Sunday; but you know that. 25 years ago on a cold super bowl weekend we met as opponents on a NYC basketball court.
My life was changed forever. Yes, as others have said and written countless times, when one was in your presence, it was as if nothing else was there to distract or interfere. Jennifer, Danielle, and your beloved parents, Charlotte and Joe must miss this more than any of us can imagine.
But so many of us miss these moments along with your spirit, integrity, friendship and generosity as well to a lesser extent as nobody else will ever be able to match you.
Doug, you can’t be “boxed out” of any of our minds or lives. I, and others, ask ourseleves, WWDD?-What Would Doug Do?- throughout our days hoping to only get the answer right more than half the time. Please keep speaking and helping us.
Finally, I made 79 foul shots Sunday, just as I did on your last two birthdays and on another important day. Next Super Bowl weekend, we will do something you will be proud of, and you would have thought of before we did, involving foul shooting and helping others–two of the best gifts you gave to us.
Missing you, yet grateful that we shared many days. Gerard
I did not know Douglas, but during Calvin Gooding’s memorial service I sat behind Douglas’ parents and sister. We did not speak, but I could feel their grief throughout the service. When Ed Cone spoke his eulogy he mentioned Douglas’ name and I knew by the response of this family in front of me that he was their loved one. I wanted to reach out to comfort them, but I was a complete stranger. I have always wondered what type of a person Douglas was–this man who died with Calvin. This tribute page makes that clear. I’m sorry for your loss.
My darling Doug,
It has taken me 21/2 years to be able to sit and write to you. You are always in Dad’s(Ed) and my thoughts. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t cry for you. Being on the golf course always makes us think of the father-son tournaments you so enjoyed.
You would be so proud of Jen and how she has guided the children through this terrible time. She is an excellent mother. Michael is you in so many ways…your kindness, your stature,your stance shooting the basketball and of course, your athletic interests. He speaks of you in such proud and loving words. Julia is adorable and would have kept you wrapped around her every whim. She is beautiful…when she is sleeping, I see your face. You’d be so excited to see them go off to Riverdale next year.
You were more than a son-in-law to us, you were our son and always will be. Love you and miss you forever.
I am sorry you died. I wish you were still alive. And I miss you very much. I loved you so much. I remember that you were big and you were so good at basketball. I really love you still.
Daddy, now I am six and I am in kindergarten at your old school. I really like animals, making frogs and doing artwork. And I like basketball too.
You are always my daddy. I love you.
The first time I met Doug we were playing Basketball at the Madison Square Boys Club and he seemed to be in his element. After many conversations, I learned he was a self confessed Basketball junkie with a HEART OF GOLD.
Doug and Jen were in the process of building their own family. Yet he found the time and energy to drive SAI Inc (and I mean drive). His leadership and devotion WAS the force behind Doc’s ability to help hundreds of kids during his tenure. Doug’s spirit continues to drive each of us as we continue his mission.
Hey Jen, you two were magnificent together! As a result of watching you two and Calvin and LaChant LaChantz, I learned what love is supposed to look like. Thank you for sharing him with me
We went to elementary school ( PS 6 ) together. He was always invited to my birthday parties and vice-versa.
In fifth grade, Douglas was so serious about the ( 1972 ) Presidential election that we went to the Democratic club on 83rd street and 3rd avenue and got a whole bunch of campaign buttons and literature supporting George McGovern, and we set up a bridge table on the corner to collect money and signatures.
I still cannot believe that we did that as eleven year olds. Good times indeed.
I knew Doug from having worked with him as I tried to put a deal together with his company epeed. He came to see me in the middle of August in Chicago 2001, 4 weeks before 9/11. I had changed jobs and was working with Jamie Dimon at Bank One. We talked for a while at my office. When we were done, he had a big smile on his face and said “I’m so happy for you Chris, you are in a great place”. I went to shake his hand good bye in front of the elevator – and instead he gave me a big hug. It was the last time I saw him, and it personified all that he was. He was tough in business, but genuinely cared alot about the people he met and worked with. I will always remember him, and think of him now, 11 years later.
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