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William Jennings “Bill” Andrews was born April 23, 1944, in Hollywood, Calif., which was a portentous birthplace for a man who enjoyed bringing joy to others, be it with a witticism a poem or a song. If you never heard the words “It’s our family reunion, it’s organized confusion, our family reunion is today. You’ll meet in-laws and out-laws, screwballs and southpaws at our family reunion come what may” sung on the radio, it is not due to any lack of trying on his part. His parents were Frank Phillip Andrews Jr. and Jeanne Jennings Andrews. As a teenager he lived with his older sister Rae in Sitka, Alaska. He seized on the idea that he was an agnostic and, when his sister started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses he decided to start studying the Bible to “prove her wrong.” Guess who was proven wrong! On August 26, 1961, he was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Anchorage, Alaska. He then began his lifelong work as a minister of the Good News of God’s Kingdom, serving as a “regular pioneer” in Portland, Ore., and Warren, Ark., before accepting an assignment as a “special pioneer” in Ashburn, Ga. It was at an assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Phenix City, Ala., that he met the love of his life, the former Rachel Jones. They were married Sept. 16, 1967, in Alexander City, Ala. Bill would devote the next 51 years to writing the perfect song for his perfect wife. He also began supporting his family, first through janitorial work then with his window cleaning businesses, which eventually brought the family to Columbus, Ga. It was this job that led to a broken hip that brought him great pain in his last years and eventually took his life on Sept. 11, 2018. His first son, Michael, was born in 1973, followed by Philip in 1980 and a daughter, Alona, in 1985. Bill relished the privilege of giving talks at the Kingdom Hall and teaching others the Bible, but he also never stopped learning. He returned to school, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Columbus State University in 2007. He served as a staff writer and humor columnist for the Saber college newspaper. But that was not surprising. Bill loved to find an audience, whether for an oft-told story, a joke told with flourish, or a column poking fun the ridiculousness of life in this system of things.
Bill is survived by his wife of five days short of 51 years, Rachel; children Michael and wife Susan, Lawton, Okla., Philip and wife Traci, Monroe, Ga., and Alona and husband Alex Shupe, Sandy Springs, Ga.; grandchildren, Keely and Conor Andrews and Adelaide Shupe; sister, Rae Getsfrid, Vancouver, Wash.; nephew, Jay Getsfrid and wife Laurie also of Vancouver; and host of spiritual children and grandchildren at Kingdom Halls scattered across the country.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 9947 Veterans Parkway in Midland. The memorial service will be live-streamed. Go to YouTube.com and search “William Jennings Andrews memorial”.
The Andrews family is being assisted by Georgia Cremation, 7500 Veterans Parkway, Suite A, Columbus, Georgia 31909, 706-577-0055, www.georgiacremation.com. The family invites you to leave a condolence or share a fond memory below.
Anne Herring Jones says
I have many fund memories of my early years of being in company with Bill and Rachel that have continued to aid me over the years to serve Jehovah faithfully. Their unyielding faithfulness to their vows of serving Jehovah are worthy of imitation. I was previledged to have had them as close friends from the time they found me in house to house work in 1968 on. We will all miss Bill, however as you said Mike he ran the race to the finish and will receive his reward. May we all continue faithful in Jehovah’s service. Much love to Rachel and Family.
George Sabbag says
Bill has Always been a wonderful guy. I have fond memories of him teaching me the United In Worhip book, as well as working together washing windows. He was upbeat, positive and fun to be with. I still remember a lot of his jokes, as well as his unique songs he used to sing while working.
We will all miss Bill, and we are comforted by the knowledge that he is no longer suffering and he will be in a wonderful place. He has built a good name with Jehovah, something that is worthy of imitation.
Josephine Cobb says
To Rachel, may Jehovah’s loving kindness be with you and your family.
To Rachel and family, so sorry for your loss. May Jehovah comfort and strengthen you all during this time of sorrow.
Emily & DeWitt Smith says
Andrews Families, it was so sad to learn this news yesterday (9/17/18). Having known Mike since he came to Athens around 1991, we got to meet all the immediate Andrews family as well as get to know Mike’s siblings who also came to live in Athens. Therefore, this loss is even greater to DeWitt and me. Please be assured of our care and concern at this most difficult time. We are sorry we were away and could not be at the Memorial Service.
Michele Barfield says
Rachel and family, it is so encouraging to think that Brother Andrews was at the Regional Convention recently. He was serving Jehovah in spite of his challenges just as you do Rachel. How Jehovah’s heart must be glad that he gave a reply to Satan and endured to the end. Soon you, your family, and all of Brother Andrew’s spiritual family will welcome him back. You are in my prayers that Jehovah will give you comfort and peace. Deuteronomy 33:27.
Judy Maddox says
Rachel, we were sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. We were so glad to have seen you both at the convention in August. Keep the resurrection hope close in mind and heart, Jehovah is near. It’s just around the corner
Love, Judy and Ann
Todd Shriver says
Rachel and family: I was saddened to hear about Bill’s death. I really enjoyed working for him! He gave me my first job in Georgia, washing windows. We had so many spiritually upbuilding conversations. When I found out he had begun partaking of the emblems, I went over to y’all’s house to verify. I told him if there was any human I’d want to rule over me, it would be him! Jehovah chose the best! May He also provide you the comfort you need and the strength to cope! And don’t forget about your friends… we all have shoulders and comforting speech “taught by Jehovah”! — Isaiah 54:13
Anthony Perekekeme says
I never met him face to face nor spoke with him or worked with him in service!
But I’m so glad to know that he’d finished his course on earth faithfully!!!
Those of us still alive either heavenly bound or paradise on earth bound;
Need to be faithful to Jehovah now while we have the opportunities to make the needed changes to be counted worthy too!!!
There’s joy in the death/resurrection of a faithful servant of Jehovah always!!!
No need to wait in the grave, but just a blink of the eye; everlasting life in immortality!!!