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My Father-in-Law John Lowell Andrews has passed away. The last few days have been an emotional mixture of grief and relief. Last Thursday he was taken to OHSU. We were told that his heart was struggling and his current pacemaker wasn’t sufficient to help him. They suggested that he might have to have surgery and put in a new pacemaker with the ability to shock his heart should it slow too much. On further testing and investigation the doctors discovered that his cancer which he has had and has gone into remission twice was back, meaning he would have to treat the cancer before addressing the heart issues, but his heart was failing. He also was in renal failure and his kidneys were attempting to shut down. Each new discovery of the shutting down of his body came as an unpleasant shock. John looked weak and way to skinny. His mood was good. He stayed upbeat till the end. On Tuesday afternoon he began to have a lot of heart pain. It scared him. He spoke extensively with his wife, JoAnne and his doctors and made it clear that he didn’t want to suffer any more. He did not want any extreme measures taken to preserve his life. He did not want to try to go home or go to a care facility. He wanted to be let go. He wanted Morphine and he wanted them to decrease his heart medication and let him go. WE all came to the hospital as quicly as possible. Upon arrival we realized he was already heavily medicated but fairly comfortable. We stayed. We cried. OHSU even let us bring his dog Chevy up to say goodbye as his last request. Chevy was a little too excited by all of the change to slow down too much but she did go to john for pats. He was pretty out of it but he knew his dog was there and knew we were. Whenever awake he would look around at all of us and say hello. We’d ask how he was and he would say fine, that he didn’t hurt. Late that night we decided that since nothing had changed and he was sleeping that we would all go home and come back in the morning. We came home. Not too long after arriving home we got a phone call from John’s sister Barb saying that John was struggling and they were going to adjust his medications. Peekaboo was already in bed so John decided to leave us here. We didn’t realize that it was the end. John was dead before any member of the family arrived at the hospital. He went peacefully and very fast. He was not in pain. John said that he looked entirely at peace and in an odd way, healthier than he’d looked in a while. He died sometime between 11:30 and 11:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010. He leaves behind his wife JoAnne of 50 years. Two daughters, and one son. four grandsons, two grand daughters, one son in law, one daughter in law, one grand daughter in law and two great grand sons. he was a wonderful man. I have always adored him. My John adored his dad and patterned much of his life after his dad. John was a veteran of the Korean war and a proud patriot. A man who loved his beer but gave it up. A man who would fix anything, help anyone. He was shy but friendly. He loved guns and took his grandchildren shooting, he especially loved old fashioned muzzle loaders. He was very patient with me because I never knew what he was talking about, so he would explain whatever he could to me whenever I asked him. He will be cremated, as he requested. We will likely have a small military ceremony @ Willamette National Cemetary, only family and we’re trying to find somewhere for his ashes. We don’t think he’d like to be stuck in a jug on someone’s mantle. He will be desperately missed but our hearts are broken.

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2 responses »

  1. Very beautiful Hope, I didn't know Johns father that well, He must have been such a great man to have such a wonderful son. I am glad he was able to die peacefully and how he wanted to. I know how hard this must be for your family right now. Our hearts are with you!

  2. What a beautiful post for such a nice man. We always enjoyed any contact with had with John. Thank you for taking the time to put the details up, I know this is a difficult time for all of you. We love you so much and pray for the whole family to feel the love of Heavenly Father through all of this.

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