Andy was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I've known. I met him over twenty years ago, when he and my mother began dating again (they had known each other in high school). Over the last year, after the loss of my mother, we became especially close. We would speak every day, often several times, and I looked forward to our conversations. Andy (Growly Papa Bear) introduced me to vintage war planes, and sharing that interest was one of the bright highlights of a dark time.
Andy could act gruffly, but that growly ex-military saltiness lay over a kind and generous heart of gold. He was a loyal friend and father, and never missed an opportunity to give little surprises or perform those little random acts of thoughtfulness that can make someone's day.
I will miss Andy every day. I have lost my second Dad. He was (and is) a salt-of-the-earth, kind, funny, smart, resourceful all-American Navy man who is probably already organizing and entertaining heaven - and making my mother smile again.