MARK DAVID ANDREWS Born November 25, 1959 Died March 20, 2020 It is hard to find jeans that fit if you are 6'6" as Mark was. His height was inconvenient in airplanes too and often provoked unsolicited comment. A woman in a grocery store once asked to inspect his purchases, hoping that she could achieve Mark's stature for her child. A grade one classmate of one of Mark's children told the teacher there was a giant at the door when Mark dropped off a forgotten pair of shoes. But he wore his height well and it was also an asset, most obviously in his athletic career which included rowing for Great Britain at the World Championships. He was in fact larger than life, a wonderful man - loving and loyal, fiercely intelligent, competitive but compassionate, and curious and knowledgable about every living thing. He was happiest when pushing himself to the limit - whether rowing, cycling or hiking up a mountain, or making submissions on a difficult point of law. He was an enthusiast and his enthusiasm and confidence carried us along with him. Mark was a tiny mite at birth - only 5 lbs. His father Robert, a flight lieutenant, was stationed in Germany at the time and Mark was born at RAF Wegberg. His mother Nancy, formerly a chemist's assistant at Boots, was confined to bed for 3 months awaiting Mark's arrival, all worth it according to her. The family returned to reside in England and sister Jane arrived to complete the pigeon pair. The peripatetic RAF lifestyle meant that Mark attended a number of schools and his parents soon decided that prep school was the best option. Mark attended Abingdon School where he made many fast friends. He famously ran away on one occasion, covering ten miles before being tracked down by his father and returned to his boarding house with only a short stop at home for tea. After a brief stint in the British army, he read law at Magdalen College Oxford where he rowed in two winning Boat Race crews (1980 and 1981) and met his wife-to-be Shelagh Scarth (the "natural-born Canadian" in Andrews v. The Law Society of British Columbia,  1 SCR 143). Mark's immigration papers required that he marry Shelagh within 90 days of arriving in Canada and he did, on a hot late August day in 1983 in Winnipeg, at the chapel where Shelagh's parents, Alan and Helen, had been married 30 years before. The newlyweds loaded a borrowed pickup truck with their worldly possessions and drove to Vancouver to take up their articling positions in September 1983, Mark at Russell & Dumoulin (now Fasken). Mark had a full life - juggling his burgeoning career and an equally-rapidly growing family. His career at the bar is recollected in the memorial published on the Fasken website. He and Shelagh raised four children together: Robin (Kristen, and son Grayson), Claire, Jonathan and Will. They are the beneficiaries of his love, his energetic approach to life and his encyclopedic knowledge of birds, plants, history and law. Mark did not waste a minute of the year between his cancer diagnosis and his death. He took us hiking at Mt. Assiniboine Park, bird-watching on the west coast off Tofino and cycling in the Okanagan; he caught salmon from his "vintage" Boston Whaler, travelled to some of his favourite spots in England, went on a fly-fishing road trip in BC and Alberta along with his friend Simon Coval, and appeared as counsel in the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He made us believe he was unstoppable. Mark died on the astronomers' first day of spring - the season of lengthening days, returning warblers and fritillaries in his beautiful garden. He was predeceased by his father in 2004. He is survived by Shelagh, their children and grandson; by his mother Nancy and sister Jane, in England; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews. No flowers please but send us your memories for the memorial service to follow. Donations to the Vancouver Hospice Society.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Apr. 4 to Apr. 8, 2020.