RHM has announced the death of Andrew Gordon Shaw, 47, the commercial director of its Fleming Howden division in Scotland. Gordon had been battling cancer since Christmas, and passed away in the early hours of 16 May at Strathcarron Hospice in Denny, writes Jon Tanner.
Gordon joined Rank Hovis in 1979 after graduating from Aberdeen University with a degree in English Literature. He was well-known in the baking industry during his time as an area sales manager with Rank Hovis, based in the south-east of England.
Gordon left the industry in 1988 for six years, during which time he and his wife, Sue, purchased and successfully ran the St Ninians Hotel in Prestwick.
Gordon then made a welcome return to Rank Hovis and was appointed regional sales controller for Scotland. Following the acquisition of Fleming Howden by RHM from Dalgety, he was instrumental in the integration of a business which he went on to run and grow.
Gordon was a larger-than-life character, whose genial style, determination, pragmatism and humour was widely recognised by colleagues and customers alike. He will be deeply missed by all that knew and worked with him. He leaves a wife, Sue, and sons, Scott
The funeral was held at St Mungo’s Chapel, Alloa, with over 200 people in attendance including a wide representation from businesses across the milling and baking industries.
Former colleague Andy Pollard, now at ingredients supplier Cereform, remembers Gordon:
I first met Gordon in the late 1970s when we were both trainees with Rank Hovis. As we progressed through the company, we worked very closely together. Gordon was a wonderful colleague who was always matter-of-fact about every subject. He had a tremendous wit and undoubted charm, which his friends, customers and everyone who knew him will remember.
He left Rank for a period to run his own hotel business which he did in his own inimitable style. As the hotel was opposite Prestwick Golf club and due to his obsession with the sport, he specialised in golfing holidays and the business prospered.
However, after the birth of his first son Scott, he and wife Sue decided to sell the business and get back to a normal life. Gordon was welcomed back with open arms to Rank Hovis to run the sales operation in Scotland. Since thatday he has been the face of Rank Hovis and, latterly, Fleming Howden in Scotland.
Gordon remained positive, charming and dignified to everyone who visited him, even in his last weeks at the Strathcarron Hospice. I, like so many, will never forget him: he was an inspiring colleague, a good friend and a wonderful family man.
Donations are welcome to Strathcarron Hospice – online at www.strathcarronhospice.org or send to Randolph Hill, Denny, FK6 5HJ in memory of Gordon Shaw.