Apr 6th 1977 - Jan 10th 2013
Andrew Smedley was a truly kind and generous man, always the first to volunteer if someone needed help. He would have given a friend the shirt off his own back – and probably throw in a joke for good measure! Andrew’s life philosophy could be summarized in a few simple but profound principles: care about others, don’t be afraid to try new things, never give up, and love unconditionally. Above all else a devoted husband and father, Andrew lived life to the fullest, and his thirty-five years in this world were rich in friends, family, laughter, and memories.
The year 1977 was the year of the first personal all-in-one computer, the first Star Wars movie, and Jimmy Carter’s inauguration as President of the United States. The most important event of 1977 for Kenneth and Anne (Baxter) Smedley, however, was the birth of their son, Andrew. Andrew was born on April 6 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in the Westnedge Hill area. He was the youngest child of the family, and had an older sister, Elizabeth, waiting for him at home.
Andrew was an innovative and creative youngster, and from an early age loved trying new things. His parents and teachers soon learned to recognize a special twinkle that sometimes appeared in Andrew’s eye, and which always meant that he had just hatched a new idea. One of Andrew’s favorite activities as a child was playing in his sandbox; later, he grew to enjoy playing soccer and basketball, art, and cooking. As the years went by, Andrew attended Mrs. Wolf’s preschool, Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary, and Loy Norrix High School in turn. For vacations, Andrew and his family traveled to England at least once every other year, where they visited his mother’s family. Andrew enjoyed life on the other side of the ocean, and was enthusiastic about experiencing a new culture and cuisine.
In 2000, Andrew met Stacy Foote, the woman who would be the love of his life. They met by chance, while Andrew was working at the Corkscrew, a local party store. Stacy stopped in to use the restroom, and Andrew was immediately smitten. He managed to get her phone number, called her a few days later, and they were together ever since.
March 19, 2002, turned out to be the best day of Andrew and Stacy’s life when they welcomed their twins, Andrew and Ariel, to the world. Andrew was thrilled to become a father, and worked hard to provide for his family. He was a very involved dad, supportive of the twins’ interests and happy to help with school projects. Andrew enjoyed sharing his love of the outdoors with his children, and often took them out boating, swimming and to ball games.
On July 18, 2003, Andrew and Stacy were married in front of family and friends at the Fennville Winery where their children served as flower girl and ring bearer.
Each year, Andrew and his family made many happy memories on their annual trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was a week of fun and adventure, as well as much-needed family time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Closer to home, the Smedley family often visited Andrew’s family cottage, near Baldwin, Michigan. The cottage hasn’t changed much since Andrew’s childhood, and he enjoyed giving his own children the same experiences that he had himself as a kid. Andrew’s all-time favorite vacation destination, however, had to be Hawaii. He loved the balmy weather, and dreamed of eventually moving somewhere warm, preferably with palm trees.
In his free time, Andrew was happiest spending time with Stacy and the kids. He was very proud of their house, which he and Stacy helped design in 2009. Andrew was quite the handyman, and could find an ingenious solution to any home repair project. He enjoyed keeping things neat and tidy, and made sure the house was always well maintained and the lawn freshly mowed. Andrew was also a great cook, and looked forward to having friends or family over for dinner parties. While he enjoyed trying new recipes (usually courtesy of Alton Brown or Good Eats, his favorite cooking shows), his all-time favorite meal was lamb chops with mint jelly, mashed potatoes, and peas made by his mother.
Generous and adventurous, hardworking and caring, Andrew was a devoted father, a loving husband, brother, and son, and a loyal friend. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many friends and family members.
Andrew Smedley passed away on January 10, 2013, at the age of 35. Andrew’s family includes his wife, Stacy Foote; his children, Andrew and Ariel; his parents, Ken and Anne Smedley; his sister, Elizabeth (Jason) Ormes; his aunts and uncles, Denny (Fran) Smedley, Monna Smith, Jerry (Clarice) Smedley, Mary Rowe, John (Karen) Smedley, Loretta (Bob) Stricklett, Janine Stombaugh, and Brenda (Walter) Wittrick; and his nieces and nephews, Kenneth, Fiona, and Lillian.
Learn more about Andrew, view his Life Story film, and visit with his family and friends on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (375-2900). Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the same location. Memorial Contributions may be made to an educational fund for the children through PNC Bank. Please visit Andrew’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can learn more about his life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.