Millerton says goodbye to former fire chief, Legionnaire: The passing of Al Andrews
MILLERTON — Al Andrews will forever be associated with the village of Millerton, whether with the Millerton Fire Company, the Millerton American Legion Post 178 or with the Millerton Gun Club, Andrews is tied to all of those groups and more.
“We are saddened by the news,” said Millerton Mayor Jenn Najdek, who along with the rest of her family has known Andrews for much of her life, and has helped out alongside him at village events for many of her years in Millerton. “His commitment and dedication to our community will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.”
The 71-year-old lifelong resident was known to almost all who lived in the village and recognizable to the few who didn’t know him, with his trademark white hair and mustache. He passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 14, at Sharon Hospital, just over the border in Connecticut. He had his family by his side.
Andrews was born in 1950 in Albion, N.Y., roughly 30 miles west/northwest of the city of Rochester. He moved to the Harlem Valley while still young and graduated from Webutuck High School in 1970. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for two years during the Vietnam War, being honorably discharged in 1972.
Andrews married Beth Lynn Crawford on Nov. 24, 1973 at the Millerton Methodist Church; she survives at home. He was among the many in the area who worked at the Taconic DDSO Campus in Wassaic, where he spent 30 years as a locksmith; he retired from the state in 2006.
Throughout his life, Andrews made public service a priority. He was a life member of the Millerton Fire Company, serving as fire chief from 2000 through 2005. He served in many capacities while volunteering within the North East Fire District and for the Millerton Fire Company, serving as fire company treasurer for a number of those years.
Andrews also was a life member at the Millerton American Legion Post 178, always staying active and helping out at the Post Home whenever possible. He also served as the American Legion Commander of Dutchess County at one point. He could often be found at Legion events lending a hand and support for whatever cause was on tap.
“Al Andrews was a Past Commander of both Post 178 and the Dutchess County American Legion, in 1988,” said Post 178 Historian Sean Klay. “More recently he has served as the Post Scholarship Committee Chairman, Club Lounge Chairman, Membership Chairman and Post Service Officer. He leaves very large shoes to fill and he will be missed.”
Those who have publicly posted their condolences on his memorial page with the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home, at www.conklinfuneralhome.com, mentioned remembering how Andrews would often be at the Legion’s regular Pancake Breakfasts, stating how he “coordinated the coffee and OJ.” One person said he was “adored” while calling Andrews “a true person [who] will be truly missed.”
Andrews was also a past member of the Millerton Gun Club. His hobbies included hunting and fishing.
He also reveled in spending time with his grandchildren, doing such things as woodworking, finishing jigsaw puzzles together and reading. Andrews was known to be an avid reader.
Calling hours were on Saturday, June 18, at the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home on Park Avenue; The Millerton Legion Post No. 178 and the Millerton Fire Company conducted services during visiting hours; a funeral service was held at noon at the funeral home, with Pastor William Mayhew officiating. A burial with standard military honors followed at the Irondale Cemetery in Millerton.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Millerton Fire Company, P.O. Box 733, Millerton, NY 12546 or to the Millerton Legion Post No. 178, 155 Route 44, Millerton, NY 12546.
To post a memorial, send flowers or plant a tree in Andrews’ memory, go to www.conklinfuneralhome.com.