Andy's Story

A brief history about Andy's life, as told by his older brother Rod Jr.

Andy and I lived in Gatineau, Quebec for a few years. When Andy was still very young my family made the move to suburbia, to a new community called 'Barrhaven' (south Nepean, Ontario). This is where we eventually spent the majority of our childhood.

As a child Andy loved to do what all other children do, play. He enjoyed swimming, biking and playing tag in the summer and making snow forts in the winter.

Andy (left) with brothers Mike (middle) and Rod Jr. enjoying a summer BBQ
Andy (left) with brothers Mike (middle) and Rod Jr. enjoying a summer BBQ

As a youth Andy was very interested in sports. He became involved and joined competitive teams in Hockey, Football and Softball. Andy was especially fond of Hockey and pursued that for many years, up until high school. He also became an avid skier, enjoying both winter and summer sports. Andy worked part time at the local Barrhaven 'Loeb'.

When Andy was 17 my father was transferred to Brockville, Ontario. By that time I was 21 and attending University full time, studying Electrical Engineering. Andy was able to find part-time work at a 'No Frills' grocery store. He soon made new friends in his new community, yet occasionally made the 1.5 hour trek back to Nepean to see his childhood friends.

Andy in the mean time started to take up snooker, tennis, darts and golf. He spent many days on the course and became an accomplished golfer.

Andy (right) and Rod Jr. practicing fishing in a backyard pool
Andy (right) and Rod Jr. practicing fishing in a backyard pool

At the age of 19 Andy graduated on the Dean's list from high school. He immediately applied to, and was accepted to the Computer Engineering program at the University of Ottawa. Being in the co-op program, my last semester corresponded to his first so we had the opportunity to attend University together, at least for a short time.

Andy was extremely interested in computers, eventually becoming a guru helping friends at both home and work. He created a LAN (Local Area Network) in his apartment, connecting both his and his room-mate's computers to a firewall that was connected to a dedicated Internet connection. Andy was particularly fond of the Linux operating system, partaking in discussions on mailing lists and newsgroups with local and international Linux enthusiasts.

Andy, Mike and I communicated just about every day, either via the phone, email or through Internet communications tools like 'ICQ'. We especially loved to play multi-player interactive games like Quake2. In fact the last thing we did together was play Quake2 hours before Andy went out with his friends that fateful night. I called Andy only shortly after that game; this was the last time I ever talked to him.

I was hired by Nortel right out of school. The following summer, after Andy's second year, he was hired to work for the summer at Nortel as a co-op firmware designer. I was very excited to get a chance to work with my brother. Here he quickly demonstrated his keen technical abilities by programming embedded applications in C. Andy continued to be hired every semester, and worked at Nortel as a student until the day he died. I am so glad that I had the chance to work with him these last 2 years, it was like we were kids again, except we worked together, side by side; no longer merely older and young brothers.

Andy will never get a chance to complete his engineering degree, start a career, own a home or have a family. These things, which most of us expect to accomplish in our lives have been stolen from him.

Life is very precious, and should not be taken for granted. Andy was lucky in the sense that he enjoyed life, partaking in various sports, enjoying time with and living for his friends and family. I am glad that he did enjoy life.

Andy enjoying a summer day on the back yard patio
Andy enjoying a summer day on the back yard patio

Less than a week before he was killed, Andy surprised our mother, Paulette by driving to Brockville for her birthday, only planning to spend a few hours, enough to have some cake and them back to Ottawa to continue studying for his exams. That evening a neighbor's child injured his knee, and it was Andy who brought the mother and child to the local hospital. Andy stayed the two and a half hours by their side, only leaving when the child was discharged from the hospital. It was this kindness, and his out-going personality that made Andy shine, and people want to be near him.

Andy will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is the brother of Rod Jr. and Michael, son of Paulette and Rod. There are now only memories, however we shall cherish these forever. Hopefully one day we will be reunited with Andy and then the pain and suffering we all endure will finally be over.

No matter how far away you are bro - I will always love you.

You were my best friend and my brother. I will never forget you. I can only hope and pray that we will meet again, someday.

Rod Jr. (left) and Andy on Mike's First Communion (1995)
Rod Jr. (left) and Andy on Mike's First Communion (1995)

   Letter to the Media
   Bill C-393
   Our Angel
   Thank You
   Mike's Speech
   Memorial Speech
   Andy's Story
   Our Brother