Steven F. Gadon
Steven F. Gadon ()

Steven F. Gadon, known not only for being the managing partner of Spector Gadon & Rosen, but also for his love of the Philadelphia Eagles, running marathons and his generous, warmhearted demeanor, died July 4 of pancreatic cancer at age 82.

Gadon’s partner, Paul R. Rosen, said the impact of Gadon’s loss would be deeply felt within the legal community, the firm, and by the firm’s clients: “He was really an icon here.”

Most of all, Rosen said, Gadon will be missed for the way he lived his life, with “honesty and integrity, soul and warmth, and [with] his heartfelt smile and bracing manner.”

“He was very embraceable,” Rosen added. “He was a person that you would immediately warm up to, you’d want to hug him. He had an infectious smile.”

Rosen said Gadon was known for his trustworthiness and added that their 40-year partnership was sealed with a handshake—and nothing else.

“Steve and I shook hands on running the firm 40 years ago without a piece of paper. It is unheard of to manage an entire firm without a document between us,” Rosen said. “And we’re lawyers.”

Gadon specialized in business and tax law. His duties included facilitating corporate transactions, providing tax-planning services, and constructing pension plans for clients. Most notably, however, Gadon was the driving force behind the firm’s growth, according to Rosen, as well as advancing its reputation.

“He was responsible for the lawyers we have, the mergers we’ve had, the growth,” Rosen said. “We went from 10 lawyers to being number 40 in size in the state. Steve was responsible for all of that.”

As Gadon grew older, Rosen said, his role shifted from actively handling matters to that of an adviser, mentoring other attorneys and his clients. However, Gadon remained active in leading the firm.

“He was the heart and soul of the management of our firm,” Rosen said.

In addition to devoting himself to his work, Gadon enjoyed many recreational activities such as running marathons, spending time at his shore home and supporting his favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

“He was a die-hard Eagles fan,” Rosen said of Gadon, who filled the stadium seats around him with family, friends and co-workers. “You couldn’t miss him, with the binoculars, the radio, the outfit. It was just unbelievable.”

Also a traveler, Rosen said Gadon loved to take his family on vacation, whether it be the Jersey Shore, or more distant locales such as Walt Disney World or Israel.

Gadon’s love of marathons began in his 50s. Rosen said Gadon completed 20 marathons in his lifetime.

“In the final days after he was diagnosed, I walked up the steps to his beach house … and we talked about his legacy,” Rosen said. “I saw there were pictures of him crossing the finish line on the wall. It was symbolic.”

Additionally, Rosen described Gadon as having two families: his own and the firm.

“He was devoted to his family and was as devoted to the firm and the firm loved him back. He had those two lives,” Rosen said.

Gadon was also involved in giving to charity, Rosen said, often combining his generosity with his love of running.

“He’d run a mile for a charity,” Rosen said, “he’d sell cookies. Whatever it took.”

Rosen, who delivered Gadon’s eulogy, said the funeral was “packed,” a testament to Gadon’s character.

Gadon received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954. He went on to earn an LL.B. from Temple University School of Law in 1959 and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University, according to the firm’s website.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara; three daughters, Amy, Beth and Susan; daughter-in-law, Dawn Gadon, the wife of his late son, Richard, who died 15 years ago, according to Rosen; and six grandchildren.

P.J. D’Annunzio can be contacted at 215-557-2315 or at pdannunzio@alm.com. Follow him on Twitter @PJDannunzioTLI. •