BIRDSVILLE, Ga. - James McRae Andrew, 78, of Birdsville, Ga., died Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Doctors Hospital in Augusta surrounded by his family. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, April 25 at Big Buckhead Church, 1345 Big Buckhead Church Road, Millen, Ga. The service will be officiated by Father Gene Paradise and Deacon Terri Degenhardt. A reception with family and friends will follow at Birdsville Farm in Birdsville, Ga. Mr. Andrew is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Franklin Andrew; a son, James Franklin Andrew (Julie) of Marietta, Ga.; a daughter, Elizabeth Bess Andrew Thomas (Patrick) of Augusta, Ga.; and four grandchildren, Addison Andrew, Emeline Andrew, Andrew Thomas and Albert Thomas. He is also survived by his brother, Joe R. Andrew of Montgomery, Ala. Mr. Andrew was born in Montgomery, Ala. on Jan. 22, 1937 to Mr. and Mrs. J. Pierce Andrew, Jr. and grew up in the town of Geneva, Ala. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1961 with a degree in Commerce and Business Administration and moved to Birdsville in 1968 to assist in his father-in-law's farming operation. While living in Jenkins County, Mr. Andrew held a variety of sales and marketing roles in the rural electric and electrical components industries, until 1978 when he co-founded BAS Irrigation in Waynesboro, Ga., of which he was President until retiring from the business in 2000. Concurrent to his years spearheading BAS, Mr. Andrew continued to be a leader in the rural utilities industry, serving on boards and as president of multiple local, state, and national rural electric organizations, culminating in a 2005 presidential appointment by George W. Bush to the post of Administrator of the Rural Utilities Services in the Dept. of Agriculture, a post he held until President Bush left office in 2009. Afterward, Mr. Andrew turned his attention back to Birdsville Farm, where he spent most of his days in his workshop rebuilding farm equipment and working on handyman projects. He made regular day trips to visit friends and former coworkers and never gave up his desire to lead even when his health began to fail. Affectionately known as Bubba to his four grandchildren, his passion was showing them the joys of rural living. Contributions may be made in memory of Jim Andrew to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; Grand Central Station; P.O. Box 4777; New York, NY 10163-4777 or online at www.michaeljfox.org. Crowe-Fields Funeral Home, Inc.
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Crowe-Fields Funeral Home
364 East Winthrope Avenue
Millen, GA 30442
Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Apr. 24, 2015