Remembrance of the Life of Gordie Albi CoL
How privileged I was to have known Gordie Albi. I can’t quite remember how it was that she became acquainted with the Denver Catholic Worker, but she definitely became a great supporter of our work and of many of us personally.
Gordie was from the business world and had an amazing resume of organizations she helped found or was on their boards – everything from education efforts to the Arts to assisting folks who had left Central America and were torture survivors.
Gordie and her husband, J.J. , had a great big house in North Capitol Hill in Denver. It had a big swimming pool in the backyard, which they shared generously with the Catholic Worker community. Their house was a meeting place for many of our meetings, and Gordie was full of ideas for the Catholic Worker. At first the ideas seem to tilt in the direction of business practices, but soon she understood that that was not our bent and she moved ( with great alacrity) into sharing her amazing creativity with us.
Gordie was a faithful attendee at our decade-long prayer presence at the gate of the Rocky Flats Nuclear weapons plant. She had a passion for Central American issues, taking training to be a person of accompaniment of women in danger in Guatemala and going to Guatemala for a period to be with a person who was in danger of being murdered. Gordie also drove a truckload of supplies to Central America and ultimately became involved in creating an organization in Eugene, Ore., that served survivors of torture. Her business acumen was a real asset when the organization “Amigos De Los Sobrevivientes” was getting off the ground. Her talents were many and varied.
One rather delightful part of Gordie was that she was kind of a clown-trickster you might say. She was very able to laugh at herself and encouraged others to take themselves lightly. That was a quality that I could use a big dose of and was glad to learn a bit about.
Gordie’s family life was complex, and she did a good job of rising to the challenges. She and J.J. married in April of 1948. J.J. had a late onset mental illness, and though it made for some challenges they continued to live a life filled with humor, joy and love. They had two sons, Roger and Todd. One of her sons was plagued with a serious mental health problem. Her other son married and had two sets of twins. J.J. and Gordie moved to Eugene to be near this son and their grandchildren.
Honestly, when I think of Gordie I scratch my head and say, “What a unique and wonderful person to have known!!!”
Editor’s note: Gordie Gay Perry Albi was born in Portland, Ore., Jan. 5, 1928, and died in Eugene, Aug. 3, 2019. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social psychology at the University of Colorado and also studied at the University of Washington, Lewis and Clark College and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1985 Gordie became a co–member and joined Community Group #1. Eternal peace, Gordie.