Although I didn’t know it then, it was one of the best days of my working life when you interviewed for the role in our team at Beam Suntory. You were a brilliant and extremely highly regarded Senior Manager at PWC and I wondered what Beam Suntory and I, had done to deserve you (and I still do). PWC’s loss was my gain (even though I feel I sucked you in under false pretences as I was nursing a sports injury and interviewed you with my leg on a chair in a ‘boot’, you soon knew that I did not in any way meet your sporty lifestyle and achievements!).
I remember when you posted an incredible time in the Edinburgh Marathon, but you being so modest said that you did ‘Awright’! It was really sad when you had to stop running because of your hip problems but after your op at least you could tell everybody that you had the same hip work as Andy Murray!
I had the privilege of knowing you and working with you for 8 years and your impact and results over those years cannot be overstated. You worked harder than all of us, making sure through your meticulous preparation that everything was properly planned and scheduled. I remember how you used to run a whole practice hard close over a weekend before the actual time came, to ensure things would go as smoothly as possible. This was because you were so considerate for all your workmates, you put yourself through extra work so that things went smoothly for us (Cat, I apologise, we never asked that of him, he was just so thoughtful of others).
We had many work trips together which I hope you enjoyed (the football stadium visit on your birthday was probably more enjoyable than you freezing on our walk back to the hotel in Frankfurt in November when you had forgotten to bring a jacket for the whole trip!!). We went to Ireland where you were very diplomatic about my driving of the hired car, and I remember a couple of really lovely meals we had with Robert and Lenny, although always with the football chat. I remember you getting sunburned on a trip to Chicago when we did an arranged riverboat cruise of the city because you had not taken a hat (a bit of a theme there of forgetting stuff on trips!).
I probably drove you mad as I was always the reactive and rash one. I really appreciated how you calmed me down and made me see sense (more times than I can count). Even when the work was really difficult and out of your comfort zone (the big merger project) you gave it your everything and knocked it out of the park. You were a truly outstanding Tax Professional (and I haven’t even mentioned the spreadsheet guru you were!). My favourite spreadsheet (non-work of course) was your template we used as a predictor for who would survive in the final Series of Games of Thrones – I don’t think you won that one either! I enjoyed every minute of the hours we discussed and debated tax stuff and I really miss it.
More than six months on we talk about you so often at work (pretty much every day), we remember you when we talk about football, politics (oh how you hated that your birthday was the same day as the Brexit referendum), and spreadsheets to name but a few. I remember you every day when I’m in my computer as invariably there’s an email you’ve sent with the exact information I’m looking for, a detailed report which saves us a whole lot of work as it only needs updated, and, not leaving out the spreadsheets which are so fabulous and effective, they will be part of the fabric of our tax team for as long as I am here.
The biggest smile I ever remember seeing on you (was certainly not captured on camera as you hated getting your photo taken), was the day you told us you were going to be a dad. You were so proud of your girls and I had the privilege of seeing you with Niamh as a baby. It was clear to see that you were a devoted dad to Ava and Niamh.
You were a wonderful person Owen and I am so glad that I knew you and was a small part of your life.
Cat, I have no words that could ever ease the pain of the loss of such a wonderful husband, dad and person, but what shone through every single day that Owen was working, that above everything else, you and the girls were his entire world and what made him happiest.