David Lynnwood Andrews

1930 - 2016
David L. Andrews, M.D., a physician, teacher, gardener and collector of rare botanical books, died at home in Alpine, New Jersey on August 25 after a long illness. He was 85.

Just as his hands shaped a remarkable garden, David's inquisitive mind and resolute character left their mark on his friends, peers, students, patients, neighbors and family. He touched them with his quiet generosity, infectious curiosity, and adamant individualism.

He is mourned by his wife, Nancy Bomar Andrews, his daughter, Lynnwood Byrd Andrews, his son, David Stafford Andrews, and by their extended family, which includes five adult grandchildren and a great-grandchild. A son, William Bryan Andrews, died in childhood.

David Lynnwood Andrews was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on November 13, 1930, to Elmore Lynnwood Andrews and Florence Stafford Andrews. After Florence died he and his brother, Stafford, were raised by their stepmother, Ruth Moak Andrews. He married Nancy Byrd Bomar of Westport, Connecticut, on August 29, 1953.

An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Andrews practiced medicine in New York for half a century at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and taught at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he had received his own training. He was recognized in 1999 as a distinguished alumnus in orthopedics. He was a 1952 graduate of Williams College and of the University School in Cleveland.

David was a dedicated supporter and board member of the New York Botanical Garden; a board member and president of the Bonsai Society of Greater New York, and a member of the New York Hortus Club. In 2005 the Garden Club of America awarded him its medal of honor for his contributions to horticulture. He participated actively in the Century Club's Round Table and was a member of the Union Club.

Drawn to the intellectual history of botany and horticulture, David explored the role of these natural sciences in colonial and early America, and built a comprehensive collection of books and ephemera from the period. The Botanical Garden's Mertz Library retains important volumes of his collection.

David was inspired by science, but was at heart a pragmatist who trusted in the power of work. After he repaired the hand of the pianist Billy Joel, injured in a motorcycle accident, newspapers quoted Dr. Andrews as saying that the best therapy would be practicing at the keyboards. The goal was not to be as good as ever, but better.

"Life isn't always easy," he told a writer about his garden. "Sometimes you have to work hard to see the beauty in front of you. It's always a work in progress."

Memorial gifts to Cardiac Amyloidosis Research of Dr Mathew Maurer, College of Physicians & Surgeons. Payable to Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, with "Maurer Research" notation, mailed to: Office of Development – CUMC, Attn: Jamie Bienstock, 630 West 168th St., Room 2-421, NY, NY 10032 (212.305.3348).

Memorial gifts to NY Botanical Garden: http://www.nybg.org/support_the_gar

Memorial service at a future date.

Published on NYTimes.com from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2016