Walter Joseph McAndrew (affectionately called Jody by his parents and Joe by family/friends) passed away on April 10th, 2023 in Vernal, Utah. He was born on March 18th, 1937 at his family home in Carbondale, Pennsylvania to parents Walter Bernard McAndrew and Lillian Cecilia (McLean) McAndrew. His parents celebrated his birthday on March 17th since he was born at home late at night, and it was thought the recording of his birth didn't occur until the next day at the hospital. And so all his life, Joe celebrated his birthday on March 17th on St. Patrick's Day where he was even told by his parents as a child that the famous Scranton St. Patrick's Day Parade was just for him.
Joe was raised Irish Catholic, being taught mostly by Catholic schools, including St. Rose in Carbondale. In his senior year with the death of his parents, Joe changed to Scranton Technical High School in Scranton, PA and graduated. He was the youngest of four live children, who included two older sisters, Gloria Elizabeth Gavin and Jean Marie Mascaro, and an older brother, William (Bill) Gerard McAndrew.
In January of 1957, he joined the army and served in Kentucky, Virginia, and California. He completed service in 1959 and began working at Grossinger's, an iconic resort in the Catskills of upstate New York that served as the inspiration for the 1987 Dirty Dancing movie. It was there he met life-long friends, like the beloved (affectionately called Uncle) Morty Handelman, Bill McCracken, & eventually Bill's wife Rosemary McCracken, who all became like family in addition to close friends from Carbondale, like Jim MacKrell (nicknamed Fish), Kenny Walker, Jim Costa, Bill Andrews, and Eddie Panarella. After five years in New York, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland with friends and then to Key Largo, Florida to work at the Ocean Reef Club in 1969, eventually falling in love with wife Lynda May Hansen at work there in 1972. They married on August 31, 1974. In Florida, children JoLynne, Casey, and Colleen were born. In 1984, Joe and Lynda left Florida to raise their family next to all of Joe's siblings in Dunmore/Scranton, Pennsylvania where children Bridget and Elizabeth were born. In 2007, Joe retired from a state correctional officer career at Waymart after 15 years of employment. In 2020, Joe moved to Vernal, Utah to spend retirement with his wife Lynda and her mother Norma May Shields Hansen, a local resident.
Joe was known for his sense of humor, with friends describing him as "the funniest guy I know." He was witty and loved to foster a carefree environment that occasionally resulted in him breaking out into opera singing to lighten the mood. Because of his love for reading and knowledge, he also knew a little something about everything and loved to share it. His authenticity endeared him to so many people and many were entertained by his belief to scam the scammer. He was never comfortable with the superficial, fiercely calling it out when he saw it. He was hardworking and scrappy, often known to pick up over-time, graveyard work shifts to provide for his family. However, the most admirable quality of Joe was his unwavering love he had for each of his five children, always wanting them to have more privilege and stability than he was afforded in life.
Joe is survived by his wife, Lynda May (Hansen) McAndrew, of 48 years, his mother-in-law, Norma May (Shields) Hansen, his children: JoLynne Creason (Tyler), Casey Conan McAndrew (Naurae), Colleen Norma McAndrew Mather (Father of Mather children: David Mather), Bridget Lynn McAndrew, Elizabeth Lenna Anselmo (Derek), 19 grandchildren: Brennan Creason, Isaac Creason, Shayla Creason, Elina Creason, Kylah McAndrew, Caysen McAndrew, Nariah McAndrew, Sheamus McAndrew, Briah McAndrew, Aryah McAndrew, KaLenah McAndrew, Keelynd McAndrew, Colton David Mather, Dakota Sean Mather, Naomi Colleen Mather, Benjamin James Mather, Mila Rae Anselmo, Lily Mae Anselmo, Ruby Kae Anselmo, sister-in-law: Kathleen McAndrew, nephews: John Gavin, Mike Gavin, Liam McAndrew, Brian McAndrew, Sean McAndrew, Rob Mascaro, and nieces: Maria Doktorczyk, Carla McEnroe, Mary Ann Sintich, Judy Prisco, Jean Gavin Tomaine, and Katie McAndrew, all of whom he was very proud.
Having been a selflessly caring son, husband, father, uncle, and grandfather, Joe will live on through his children and posterity, always encouraging them to be their best and most authentic selves.
A memorial service for Walter Joseph McAndrew will be held Monday April 17, 2023 at 10:00am (MST) at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home (410 North 800 West). Military Honors by the American Legion Post 11 will follow right after the services at the Funeral Home. Services under the direction of the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home.
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