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Andris E. "Andy" Meijers, 57, of Battle Creek, MI, formerly of Columbus, IN, died in hospice care on Saturday, January 25, 2014, after a sudden, short battle with lung cancer.
Born in Columbus, IN, to Talivaldis "Ted" and Ruta Meijers, Andy attended Lillian Schmitt Elementary School, Northside Junior High School, and Columbus North High School. He completed his final year of high school in 1974 at Speedway near Indianapolis. Andy enjoyed his youth swimming and boating at Grandview Lake with his many siblings and friends, exploring the world through a camera lens, and working on his father’s building sites. This work with his father taught him a lot about architecture, construction, and solving problems in general. Throughout his life he was a tinkerer, finding creative solutions to fix things or build something new and usable out of what most people would consider scrap.
Andy graduated in 1978 from Indiana University Bloomington, where he studied anthropology. His working career was spent at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek, MI, focusing on computers and information technology support.
Family was very important to Andy. Although he had no children of his own, he kept a protective eye on his younger siblings as they grew up, and spent as much time with his family as possible. In recent years, he greatly enjoyed annual beach trips with the two youngest family members—a nephew and a niece who live in North Carolina.
Outside work and family, his primary interests were reading books, following his favorite comics online, and watching nature in his large backyard. He regularly fed the songbirds and did not mind that wild turkeys, raccoons, squirrels, deer, and other visitors benefited too. The family frequently received photos of these woodland creatures via email. Andy was known for his quick, dry wit and his vast knowledge of historical information about old buildings, cameras, tools, computers, electronic equipment, and just about everything else. He couldn’t stand to see working equipment go to waste, and he kept his siblings and parents supplied with computers he rebuilt from parts found at garage sales. His personal frugality was balanced by his generosity to others.
Andy is survived by six siblings, Karlis Meijers of Lake Charles, LA; Ilze Meijers of Greenfield, MA; Maija Meijers (Bruce Byers) of Shelburne, MA; Dagmara Meijers-Tröller of Chicago, IL; Anne Meijers (Robert Cabin) of Penrose, NC; and Valda Hillery (James Hillery) of Bloomington, IN; and six nieces and nephews, Maija Tröller of Paris, France; Varis Mohler of Shelburne Falls, MA; Ludwig Tröller of Berlin, Germany; Ivars Byers of Northfield, MA; Paul Cabin of Penrose, NC; and Ellen Cabin of Penrose, NC.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Janis and Anna Asars; his parents; his brother, Eriks Meijers; and his niece, Alina Troller.
Andy generously donated his remains to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for medical research into the rare, aggressive type of cancer he had, large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Columbus, IN. To honor the memory of Andy, please keep your birdfeeders full and promote natural habitats in your yard for all wild creatures to shelter and forage. And find a creative re-use for something you thought was junk, for one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Andy’s gentle heart, though, was a treasure to us all, and he will be missed.