GRASIS, Andris "Andy"
Lived 76 years, a lifelong Wildcat, left this Earth to cheer on his Wildcats from above on October 7, 2020.
Born in Ugale, Latvia, during the Soviet invasion of Latvia, his family became refugees in a displaced persons camp outside of Hamburg, Germany. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Yuma, Arizona, his family consisting of his grandmother Minna Kirsis, parents Janis and Elizabete Grasis, sisters Ilze and Sarma, and brothers Janis and Egils Grasis, immigrated to the United States and settled in the Mohawk Valley in western Arizona.
Andy attended Antelope High school in Wellton, Arizona, lettered in football, basketball, and track and field, was chosen as the Student Body President, and graduated top of his class. He then graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. degree in Accounting and Economics. While there he met the love of his life, Patricia "Pat" Mahoney, and after a whirlwind romance, they married.
Andy started his career as an auditor for the State of California. It was in San Diego, California that Andy and Pat had their first child, Juris. The three made their way to Flagstaff, Arizona, where Andy earned his MBA from Northern Arizona University. While in Flagstaff, Andy and Pat's daughters, Maija and Amanda were born. After earning his advanced degree and CPA, Andy and family moved back to Tucson to begin work at St. Mary's Hospital. It was there that his son, Janis "Gonzo" was born. Andy rose through the ranks of St. Mary's Hospital to become a Fellow of the National Hospital Financial Management Association and Corporate Director of Finance of Carondelet Health Services, until his retirement.
In 2002, Andy was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a disease he valiantly fought for 18 years. This fighting spirit allowed Andy to be present for every event in the lives of his children, including attending each graduation for their combined eight college degrees. He was there to witness the marriage of his daughter Amanda to Juan Gutierrez, the sudden and devastating illness and passing of his daughter Maija, the marriage of his son Juris to GloriaMay Machado, and the marriage of his son Gonzo to Christine Herman. Fortunate still, he witnessed the births of his grandchildren Jovia and Andy to Amanda and Juan, Arvi and Ellie to Juris and Gloria, and Gonzo and Diego to Gonzo and Christine. The disease did not stop him, he lived fully until his last breath.
This much beloved man is grateful to have lived his life in America, to have loved Pat for over 50 years, and to experience all the joys of a life very well lived, including his passions of music, gardening, and attending every home Wildcats basketball game for 40 straight seasons.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Janis and Elizabete; sister, Ilze; brothers, Janis and Maris and daughter, Maija. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Andy is also survived by Patricia (Maris) Grasis and family, John's daughter, Yvette and family and sister, Sarma Grasis Spitzer and family.
Due to COVID restrictions, services will be privately held at East Lawn Palms Cemetery. Stories of Andy and condolences are greatly welcomed and accepted in Andy's name, care of ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel, 8090 N. Northern Ave., Tucson, AZ 85704.
Mes tevi milam, Andy, son, husband, father, grandfather, friend, coach, fan, you left ground and sky weeping, mind and soul full of grief. No one can take your place in existence, or in absence.
Published by Arizona Daily Star on Oct. 18, 2020.