December 21, 2019, after a lengthy decline in health, longtime. Arroyo Grande resident Frank Andrews gently slipped away to be with his Lord.
The memorial service will be Saturday, January 11th 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the Grace Bible Church, 100 Rodeo Dr., Arroyo Grande 93420.
In 1968, Frank brought his family from Granada Hills to Arroyo Grande and taught metal shop at the high school for a brief stint. He obtained a master's degree in education at Cal Poly and was immediately hired as a full-time lecturer in the university's industrial technology department, where he taught for five years. He then became a licensed contractor, remodeling and repairing houses and apartments throughout the area. In 1975, he built his dream house on his hill above the Old Branch School overlooking the Arroyo Grande Valley where he and Kathy lived for forty years.
Born in Paradise, Missouri, and raised in Missouri during the Great Depression, Frank changed schools nine times in his early years, with his father moving his family of nine children every January. Frank's parents struggled mightily, with his father working as a sharecropper for one dollar per day during Frank's earliest years.
Named for Benjamin Franklin, Frank was very much an inventor, like his namesake. As a child, Frank would create his own toys, foraging for little wheels and other materials from the nearby dumps where farmers would put their trash. He had a gift for visualizing the final product and made toy vehicles, airplanes, and the like, entertaining himself for hours this way. Later in life, whenever he needed a specialized tool to perform some task, he would often just make it. He loved making things with a welder and some metal or a block of wood, and his children and grandchildren often benefited from his talents, as he often made gifts for them.
Drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Frank served first as an M.P. then learned Morse Code and trained as a radio operator who accompanied officers while hiking up and down hills with a 40-pound pack on his back. His service in Korea was among his most proud life events, and he spoke of it often. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Frank obtained a bachelor's degree at the University of Missouri in Columbia, near his parents' farm, and during this period he attended a Methodist campus ministry function where met Kathryn Spauldin, whom he would soon marry. The couple completed their teaching credentials at Mizzou, during which time Frank suffered health problems, leading a physician to recommend relocating to a warm, mild climate.
With little to their names and no connections, Frank and Kathy bravely set out for the West, settling in the San Fernando Valley, obtaining teaching positions, starting a family, and buying their first houses. Through determination, optimism, and pure grit, Frank and Kathy truly epitomized the American Dream and made many friends, meeting many while playing bridge, square dancing or attending church functions. They always had a very active social life.
Frank could be somewhat of a mystic in middle age, learning about dowsing for water, locating a person's aura, and healing with crystals. More than anything, these interests--which he took very seriously--demonstrated Frank's open-mindedness to the mysterious ways of the universe. He was especially interested in geological wonders, and he would point out to his small children the natural processes that created such things as the Grand Canyon. He took his family on many road trips, always with a focus upon natural and cultural wonders, along with local history.
Frank's innate curiosity for how things work led him to become a mechanical genius who could fully understand the workings of many things electrical, automotive, and mechanical. He built a Model A truck in the 1960's, overhauled several automobiles, and restored Farmall tractors in his retirement.
Frank was also an artist, creating works of sculpture, canvas paintings, and architecture. He encouraged all of his children to pursue a love of the arts and kept a vibrant household with his wife--a household known for entertainment, hospitality, and excitement. He greatly esteemed education and kept all of his certificates upon his office wall in order to inspire his children to aim for college success. He also loved music, and one could always expect to hear country western music emanating from his shop, where he found countless ways to divert himself. He liked his music loud.
Frank modeled humility and generosity to all who knew him. He spent hundreds of hours working for the Gideons and started the evening Arroyo Grande Toastmaster's group to help people become confident speakers, whereupon he achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster Pin. Frank also did many church construction projects, including remodeling entire offices. For those who took the trouble to appreciate Frank despite his rough edges, he could become the deepest sort of friend for life.
In their retirement years Frank and Kathy enjoyed traveling in their RV's and visited most of the states--as well as Israel, Egypt, western European countries, China, Korea, Hawaii, a trip through the Panama Canal, and Alaska.
He shall be dearly missed by his surviving family and friends, including: his wife of 63 years, Kathryn (Kathy), of Arroyo Grande; daughter, Terri Lee (David Brandt) of Wilton, CA; son Craig (Kate ) of Ojai; son Scott of Arroyo Grande. Surrogate son Jim Kirkwold (Bay area). His grandchildren, Michael Brandt (Kourtney--who adopted him as Grandpa) from Long Beach, Madelyn Brandt, and Galen Hughes. He is also survived by his brother Paul (Columbia, MO); sister, Edi Nichols (Arlington, TX) and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Frank was preceded in death by his parents, George and Evalene Andrews, brothers: Senator, Harold, Charles, Dale; sisters: Eva Gondek and Carolyn Smith.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gideons, American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.
To send flowers to Frank's family, please visit our floral section.