Roland "Andy" Andersen
July 10, 1943 - October 19, 2020
Fort Worth, Texas - R.E. "Andy" Andersen "slipped the surly bonds of earth*" for the final time, Monday, October 19th. On "laughter silvered wings*" he has taken off on his final mission to travel "the high untrespassed sanctity of space.*" Andy was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1943, but moved a year later to Beaumont, Texas, where he grew up. He attended schools in Beaumont from kindergarten through to his BA degree from then Lamar State College of Technology.
He "dodged" the draft by joining the Air Force. After basic training, officer training school, and pilot training he started an adventure that would last 21 years, taking him to a dozen countries and most of the 50 states as a pilot, instructor pilot, flight examiner, security police officer, squadron commander, and aviation mishap investigator and guest lecturer at the Royal Swedish Academy. During that time , he also earned his MA from Central Michigan University. His personal awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (8), Air Force Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal (4). He would follow that up with 14 years in the aerospace industry working in engineering, logistics, and human resources before he retired for a second time. Retirement gave him time to get involved in auto racing, to hone his culinary skills, and to travel to more states and countries.
He is survived by his wife of over 49 years, Laurie, as well as his son David, daughter-in-law Stacie, and two charming granddaughters, Annabelle and Caroline. He is further survived by his brother Paul and sister Mary.
*From "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee
Published in Star-Telegram on Oct. 25, 2020.