Andrew Townsend Ritchey

Andrew Townsend Ritchey

Charismatic, loving, generous, boater, funny

In a crowd of people, Andrew stood out as the one who was the warmest, most welcoming and accepting. Andrew made any person feel comfortable and at home. He had a light about him that drew people to him. He was caring and always checked in with people to make sure they were alright or to see what he could do to help them.

Andrew was selfless, loving, generous, and funny. He enjoyed golf, dogs, baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves, and was extremely afraid of bugs and snakes. His mom Linda, and dad, Allyn, were his best friends. He started each day calling his dad and had multiple phone conversations throughout each day with both of his parents. Andrew was also a supportive brother to his sister, Lauren, loved his stepmother, Donna, and was a wonderful uncle to his three-year-old niece, Summer, who he played dolls with.

Andrew had the happiest smile, bright blue eyes, an infectious laugh, and gave the biggest hugs. He was loyal to his friends and family and had an amazing sense of humor. His dad stated, “He was always smiling, joking around, and great with people. He was a very kind and gentle person.”

Andrew and Lauren became closer in the last year of his life. She said, “He was younger than me but would boss me around.” She said Andrew should be defined by how loving and caring he was and not by his substance use disorder (SUD) which occurred after being prescribed opioids following a dental procedure when he was 17. “His disease did not allow him to live up to his potential. It was hard watching him struggle with his addiction. He deserved better than that.”

Andrew loved working as a boat captain and dockmaster and was very good at it. His disease made it hard for him to hold down a job. “He was not the same person after his substance use disorder,” his dad stated. “We now have more awareness about how the disease affects everyone in the family.”

Since Andrew’s passing, Lauren says her heart is a little softer regarding those with SUD. “Andrew passed away recently so it is still hard to talk about.” ‘I miss Andrew’s big smile, booming voice, his big hugs, his bright blue eyes and just talking with him.”

Andrew’s sister, Lauren Thomas, provided the information for this narrative, with input from Andrew’s father Allyn.

February 15, 1989-July 16, 2021

Age 32-Lived with the disease of addiction 15 years

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