|Birth: ||Jan. 21, 1908|
|Death: ||Mar. 8, 2005|
1930 MI Census Jackson Co Spring Arbor
E Alvia Andrews M 46 Ohio
Bessie P Andrews F 41 Kansas
Burton A Andrews M 23 Oklahoma
Burdette W Andrews M 21 Oklahoma
James F Andrews M 20 Oklahoma
Harold G Andrews M 18 Oklahoma
Marion E Andrews M 16 Oklahoma
Berthal V Andrews M 13 Texas
Byron T Andrews M 11 Texas
Eldon K Andrews M 8 Ohio
Howard C Andrews M 5 Michigan
B Ruth Andrews F 3 Michigan
Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI) - March 13, 2005
Deceased Name: Burdette Andrews: Schools chief remembered
While the funeral for retired school superintendent Burdette Andrews was a somber occasion, friends and family shared some truly lighthearted remembrances Saturday about the Vandercook Lake "legend."
Andrews, superintendent at Vandercook Lake schools for 56 years, died Tuesday at Foote Hospital. He was 97. His funeral was held in the Jackson Free Methodist Church.
As the procession left the church en route to Woodland Cemetery, a Vandercook Lake school bus led the way, followed by an entourage down McDevitt Avenue, to make a memorial pass by the high school. Along the way, 12 school buses, one from each of the county's districts, were parked at an angle along McDevitt, a silent show of respect for the long-serving educator.
Pastor Thomas Ramundo, who lead the service, marveled at the numbers Andrews accrued during his lifetime.
"He lived to 97, he was an educator for 72 years and he was married for 65 years; and as every single person here knows, he was the all-time champion, the record holder of the longest-serving superintendent in the universe."
During the service, his close associates - Superintendent Ron Bennett, retired athletic director Chuck Miller, assistant superintendent Tony Hollow, and school board president Randy Treacher - gave tribute to the man they all called "Mr." Andrews.
"I was one of the few who ever called him Burdette, and that was only on very rare occasions," Bennett said. "He was our Mr. Andrews and he'll always be our Mr. Andrews."
The tributes included funny stories, examples of his kindness, his sense of humor and his frugality, yet they all emphasized his love of the Vandercook Lake community.
After recalling one particular funny anecdote, Miller, choking back tears, said Andrews cared "deeply for the teachers and the support staff and dearly loved the children of Vandercook Lake."
Much was made during the service of Andrews' dislike of suspending students for bad behavior and how reluctant he was to cancel school for bad weather. Hollow recalled once being summoned to Andrews' office to defend the number of students who had been suspended during a certain period. "Look, he said, 'This boy got three whole days off for mooning the drivers ed car,' Hollow said. "Then he said, 'What is mooning anyway?'" When he understood what the word meant, Hollow said he slammed down the paperwork and said, "He only got three days?"
Andrews thought snow days were a waste of taxpayers money.
Once during a "horrible ice storm," Hollow recalled how the superintendent inched his way into the school parking lot, maneuvering his car carefully through the ice and snow, only to slide sideways into his parking spot.
He got out and said to a nearby employee, "I don't think it's that bad out." Miller, who Andrews hired 48 years ago, told a story of riding to a meeting on a cold blustery day in the back seat of a 1958 Thunderbird with Andrews and another educator when they had a flat tire.
"I'm in the back seat, wearing a suit, but I'm the low-man on the totem pole," Miller said.
So he hoisted himself out of the car, climbed over the two older men, and rummaged in the trunk for the jack and a tire.
"I realize they aren't getting out of the car," said Miller, who also taught drivers education and knew better, but proceeded to jack up the car and change the tire with both men, clad in coats and hats, still sitting in the front seat. "Those lug nuts I'm sure had been on since 1958," he said to the laughter of the audience. "Mr. Andrews rolled down the window and said 'How's it going, Chuck?' By then I was numb from the wrist down." Nevertheless, Miller finished the job and climbed into the back seat. "He said, 'Everything OK, Chuck?' - and I said, 'Yeah, let's go home.'" Andrews was at heart an educator - one of the best, Bennett said.
Even though he kept an office at the school after his retirement, "he never once second-guessed me; he didn't do things that way," Bennett said. A dozen others also stepped up to the microphone during the funeral to share their remembrances of Andrews. Michael Flanagan, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, told of the difficulty in getting Andrews to a meeting in 2002 where he was going to be presented with an award. "He said, 'I can't tell you how honored I am, but I can't make it,'" Flanagan said. He was finally able to get Andrews to the meeting with the help of friends, but then he balked at having to speak. "After I gave him the award that night, he gently shoved me aside and spoke for 27 minutes," Flanagan chuckled. "It was the most eloquent speech." Andrews daughter, Judith, thanked the group for sharing their stories. "My father was very quiet; he didn't come home and talk about all of you," she said. "You made him seem a little more human to us."
Vandercook's high school and middle school campus is named in Andrews honor.
Besides his daughter, Judith, Andrews is survived by his wife, Annabel; two sons, Jonathan and Dan; a grandchild and four brothers.
Annabel Andrews (1917 - 2011)*
Don E Andrews (1940 - 1992)*
Note: age 97 yrs
Plot: Sec 5 Lot 29 (owner Maude Shafer)
Created by: Deb Hayes-Wolfe
Record added: Feb 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24534317