Andy shared almost nineteen years with us on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. He was born in Port Angeles and had just graduated from Port Townsend High School. He completed his orientation and training for his first summer as a wildland firefighter.
At 6′ 5” and 250 pounds‚ Andy was easily the largest student on the high school campus and a natural for the football team. He was a valued varsity player for four years and loved using his size and strength on the field.
Off the field‚ he was a gentle giant whose presence made others feel safe and secure. His many friends since childhood treasured his calm‚ even temperament and his unerring sense of justice‚ which could defuse a situation with grace and humor. He will always be remembered as one who held himself to the highest principles of integrity‚ truth‚ fairness‚ and kindness. He was loyal‚ honest and trustworthy – loved by all that knew him.
Andy enjoyed bonfires on the beach‚ sporting clays‚ video games‚ weightlifting‚ reading‚ and spending time with friends. He was a devoted Big Brother to a special younger brother. His jobs included working at an automotive repair shop‚ tire store‚ and during the summer he could be found bucking hay for local farmers. He was very proud of his big‚ red Dodge 2500 turbo diesel pickup truck and thrilled many who jumped in for a ride.
Though Andy was headed to Montana State last fall‚ nobody–Andy included–had a clear‚ focused vision of his career path. He was interested in applying mechanical engineering toward improving diesel performance‚ construction management with an emphasis in renewable energy sources‚ playing football‚ ancient Roman architecture‚ international business‚ Foreign Service‚ and jurisprudence. He was intelligent‚ with the world at his fingertips. We can be confident he lived his life with no regrets and served the highest and most positive purpose.
Andy died honorably as a firefighter for the National Park Service on the Iron Complex Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville‚ California‚ on Friday July 25‚ 2008.