Monday, February 3, 2014


We are burying my grandfather today...its surreal to me that he is gone. Here is part of his eulogy, written by my mother....

His top 3 priorities were as follows.

3. Work hard. He worked hard all his life, from a boiler maker at the Boston Naval 

Shipyard to getting his GED late in life to work as a Planner/Estimator, traveling around 

the world for the shipyard. Even after he retired, he worked at Converse sneakers to 

supplement his pension. Outside of work, he rebuilt our family home twice after 2 fires 

(with no fire insurance), always working on various family cars (if he only knew some 

of the things I put my first car through!) and working to keep the yard up and the flowers 

my mother loved blooming. He was always ready to help, showing up at my first house 

that had an unfinished upstairs with his hammer and snowblowing all the driveways of 

his neighbors on Temple Street when he was older than all of them.

2. Family. The main reason he worked so hard was to always provide for his family. He 

may have been cranky most of the time, but every Christmas we would wake up to a huge 

treasure trove of gifts in the living room, no matter what kind of financial crisis we went 

through the rest of the year, something I think we all continue to do for our own families. 

As we grew older, anytime one of us needed anything, he was always there, whether it 

be a place to stay during crisis, or because our own houses were not ready for us. We 

knew we could always depend on him to be there. He loved the holidays when he knew 

we would all come to see him and my mom. He even loved Saturday mornings, when 

we would converge on his home, eat all the bacon he had prepared for us and spend the 

morning sitting around his kitchen table, catching up, gossiping and sometimes arguing. 

When he had to give up his house, we continued this tradition (without the bacon) and I 

know this was very important to him.

1. And of course, the most important priority to him was his wife. He was married 

for over 60 years to the love of his life. Considered a saint by most for putting up with 

his temper, my mother was absolutely cherished by him. When times were tough, I 

remember her owning 2 house dresses, after we all grew up and moved out, he made 

sure at least 2, maybe 3 closets were full for her. He bought her gifts, took her traveling 

everywhere she wanted, took her out to eat all the time, anything she wanted he made 

sure she got. Then Alzheimer’s reared its ugly head and he stepped up and showed his 

devotion more than any of us could imagine. She turned from this saintly, sweet woman 

to a totally different person, swearing, glaring and lots of kicking (mostly to his bad 

knee). I will always remember seeing him sitting with her with a jar of baby food near 

the end and patiently feeding her, sometimes for hours with 1 jar. The nurses at Nevins 

Alzheimer’s Unit were amazed by this. When nothing more could be done for her at 

Nevins, he took her home, set her up in the living room and slept on the sofa near her to 

always be available for her. She died there with him holding her hand. He believes she 

gave him her sweet smile before she died and I am sure it happened. He once said she 

always took care of him, so it was only right that he take care of her when she needed it.

For the past 10 years, he talked about how much he missed her, how much she would

have liked Bayberry where he lived, and spent most of his days reliving his life with her. 

Now they are reunited, so as much as this is a sad event for the people he leaves behind, 

it is not a tragedy since he is now where he has wanted to be for the past 10 years, with

the love of his life once again. He will be missed.

He will be missed.....he was so very loved.  Some of my favorite pictures that I've been going through....

His ship from when he was in Pearl Harbor, in 1945...

I love his face after he read our card...

I will miss him so much. What makes me smile is thinking of his reunion with my Nana...he missed her so, so much. 
Rest in peace, Pop.

And his obituary...

 TEWKSBURY -- Ralph R. Andrews, Jr., age 89, a Tewksbury resident for 67 years, passed away at the Lowell General Hospital Saints Campus on Thursday, January 30, 2014. He was the beloved husband of Dorothy M. (Young) Andrews, who passed away on October 28, 2004. Born in Boston on February 21, 1924, he was the son of the late Ralph R. Andrews and the late Stella (Randall) Andrews. Ralph was raised in Boston and attended Boston Public Schools. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Laffey. He was awarded several decorations for his military service including the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with four Stars, the European-African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with one star and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. Prior to his retirement, he was employed as Ship Surveyor for 10 years by SUP Ships Company of South Boston. Mr. Andrews previously worked in the same capacity at the Boston Naval Shipyard as well as for the General Dynamics Company. Mr. Andrews was a former member of the Tewksbury D.A.V. Post #110. He is survived by four children, Richard D. Andrews and his wife, Donna (Sferrazza) of Tewksbury, Susan J. Cantwell of Tewksbury, Barbara J. Soave of Plaistow, NH, and Janice R. Stotelmyre and her husband, Robert of Tewksbury; 10 grandchildren, Heather D. Leary, Kristi L. Andrews, Paul R. Cantwell, Laura J. Smart, Kenneth J. Wilson, Jessica L., Daniel R. and Katy E. Soave, Amanda L. Catanuso and Matthew N. Stotelmyre; also 10 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. Mr. Andrews was the grandfather of the late Brian D. Cantwell, and brother of the late Phyllis Andrews, Stella Stephenson, Joan Andrews, Walter, Donald, and Eugene Andrews. ANDREWS -- Ralph R., Jr. Calling hours Monday, Feb. 3, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Farmer & Dee Funeral Home, 16 Lee St., Tewksbury, immediately followed by funeral services to be held in the funeral home. Interment will follow at Tewksbury Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association ,, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.


Kristal February 5, 2014 at 3:38 PM  

What beautiful words your mother shared. He sounds like he was a wonderful Pop to have!

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