Andrew Michael Dix
Andrew Michael Dix
  • October 25, 1987 - June 2, 2017
  • Orlando, Florida

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Andrew was born on October 25th, 1987 on a beautiful Sunday morning. I was there and still remember the magic of his birth.

That same day, the Tampa Bay Bucks managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again. But still it was a most magical day.

He was an adorable blond toddler with silky hair that could not be tamed. And ever so smart and inquisitive.

As he grew he continued to educate himself above and beyond what we thought he should be learning. For example, when he was in the second grade we had what was then a brand new thing, a computer. Andrew taught himself to type and was off and running. It was nothing for him to write a story and carry it into school.

Speaking of school, his early school years came at a price. He was the only kid in school whose mom made sure that she was there every day as a volunteer. He couldn’t get away with anything. Not that he tried, of course.

By the time he reached middle school, he had turned into a bit of a chunky kid. I remember having to buy khakis way too long just to get the waist size right and then having to try to cut them off and hem them up. He never complained about Dad’s sewing skills or lack there of.

As he transitioned into high school he lost the weight, and became a very handsome young man.

His high school years were something of a challenge in that we moved away from the school and he had to drive to school every morning. But the big yellow truck helped a bunch. The big yellow truck also helped him and several of his friends get to and from rowing practice after school several days a week.

While in high school he also had a job. It was a good one, too. He worked as a clerk for my attorney. They must have liked him because they certainly kept him busy. He loved it. He even got to dress up for work. And he always enjoyed dressing up.

His grades in high school were impeccable and his SAT scores were quite high. He even got a perfect score in English on the SATs. As always, he was an honor student.

All too soon, he graduated from high school and moved away from home. The neat thing was that many of his friends moved right along with him. And he had a great time at Florida State University. He could have graduated early, but chose to stay for the full four years.

I only recall one small incident while he was at FSU. One night he called to tell me that he had used our joint credit card. When I asked him what had happened he explained that while visiting friends living off campus his truck had been towed for being illegally parked. My only comment was, “Did you learn anything?” He answered in the affirmative.

During his college years Andrew worked hard each summer to help pay his way. His first summer was spent working on the railroad in Alaska. The train ran from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back. It was long hours and hard work but he made it. What an experience.

The following summers he worked in Tallahassee installing temperature control systems in the local school system. More hard work, but he really seemed to enjoy it. He had no problem getting his hands dirty.

The college years came to an end and Andrew graduated with honors. What else could he do?

After college he moved to Panama City, FL and worked there for a while before moving to Orlando. While in Orlando, he bought his first home and worked to make it his. He hated the pool once he found out how much work it took to maintain one, but other than that he was comfortable in his space.

As he became acclimated to the Orlando area he became involved in the vegan group and made more friends, some of whom became quite close. He enjoyed camping, bicycling and hanging out with his friends, both in Tampa and Orlando.

One of his favorite places to hang out and meet with friends was Orlando Brewing. To him it became a lot like “Cheers”; you know, the place where everyone knows your name.

His choice of music was light jazz and that went well with the spicy food he enjoyed. He made his own cold brew coffee and fire cider. Like his mom and his grandmother, he was a master at Scrabble.

He loved giving back to the community, such as giving to charities and donating his blood regularly.

When he went about town people would stop him and tell him that he looked like the Super Hero Thor, or Brad Pitt from the movie “World War Z”.

It was his intention to donate the long hair he had grown. And it was a bit long…

So he spent his time taking care of his home, working and having a cool one with friends. So many friends…

Andrew will be missed by so many, but I know he will live on in our hearts and memories. May he rest in peace and the warmth of all the love of all of his friends.

As some of you may know, Andrew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in college. Tragically, it's what cut his life so short. If you make a memorial donation to the American Diabetes Association, not only will it help fund research and education, but a tree will be planted in a national forest as a beautiful, living memorial. We can think of no better way to honor Andrew's life than by fighting the disease that claimed it while also helping the environment, one of Andrew's great passions.

To access the web page for the American Diabetes Association, please copy and paste the following web address in to your browser: WWW.ANDREWDIX.ORG