Those we love remain with us,
for love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
because a loved one's gone...
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
For as long as there is memory,
they'll live on in the heart.
Andy was born on Jan. 14, 1971 and went to Heaven on Sept. 6, 1997. He was a wonderful Son, Brother, Uncle and Friend. He and his sister, Lisa, were best of friends. He dearly loved children, especially Lisa's 3 boys, Marty, Jack & Rian. He was an avid Nascar fan, with Bill Elliott his favorite driver. Andy loved farming, animals, hunting, fishing, camping and painting and repainting his trucks.
Andy was killed in a traffic accident on Sept. 6, 1997. We had all been to a wedding reception that afternoon. Andy came late and left early, because he had chores to do at a neighbors farm. My husband, Link, and I left shortly after Andy. We were in town when the fire alarms sounded. One half mile before the turn to our home, the traffic was stopped. Our hearts were in our throats as Link walked down to see what had happened. I sat in the car and prayed, "Please God, don't let it be Andy." The sun was shining so brightly through the front windshield, I couldn't see out. The next thing I knew, Shelly, a firefighter, was standing beside the door, holding onto Link. It was our Andy. We both went down, but the paramedics were working on him, so we couldn't get near. We were told they had a helicopter on stand-by at the hospital.
Shelly led us back to our car and said she would drive us behind the ambulance. While we were waiting, I had asked someone to please go call our daughter, Lisa, to meet us at the hospital. While sitting in the car, the Coroner arrived. Andy was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:41 PM.
According to the accident report, for some unknown reason, (did the sun blind my Sonshine) Andy's truck crossed the centerline approaching a slight curve into the path of a fully loaded log truck. That driver attempted to avoid the impact by steering to the side of the roadway. After impact, Andy's truck spun across the road, and the log truck traveled about 70 feet where it struck a tree. The next day, when we went to the funeral home, my second worst fear became a reality...we had to have a closed casket. We never got to see Andy again. Andy wanted to be an organ donor, but that was not to be, either.
As Andy's poster of him and Bill Elliott hung over the closed casket, hundreds of people passed by. Flowers were everywhere. I remember thinking to myself, what an impact he had made in 26 years to have had so many people come to say good-bye to him. On Wednesday, September 10, he was buried. As his friends lined up to follow in the funeral procession, they had all attached their Nascar Flags to their trucks, and the #94 flag draped the pallbearers car. The leader of their clan was gone, and they bid him a fitting farewell.
Seven weeks later, on October 28, 1997, my Dad joined Andy after a year-long battle with throat cancer.
Andy had several cars and trucks, but this was his first New Truck. A 1996 Ford Diesel F350. He had it about two weeks when he decided to re-paint it. He had a such a talent for autobody painting. Andy and his friends spent a lot of time in our garage, fixing up their trucks. We sure do miss all that commotion.
When Bill Elliott had his Thunderbat, Andy thought he should have one too. He bought a Thunderbird and had a friend make up the decals. He truly enjoyed the Nascar races. He had a camper, and he and his friends would spend the weekend at the races. If they didn't attend, they would take turns at different houses to watch the race on TV.
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MY PARENTS ARE SURVIVORSHEALING HEARTS