Life Story / Obituary
Wayne Andree modeled a life rich with hard work, putting others first, and being a loyal husband to the woman he loved. He loved going fishing for walleye over the years and found great pleasure in sharing his time and resources with others. A strong provider for the family he loved, he will be lovingly remembered for generations to come.
The Thirties were being marked by tough economic times, yet the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the fields of aviation, radio, and film. By the year 1936, the Boulder Dam, later renamed the Hoover Dam, was completed and Jesse Owens dominated the Berlin Olympics. Bringing great joy to their world, George and Edith Andree welcomed their newborn baby boy, Wayne Edward, on February 13th, to their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born the youngest of four children, his birth brought great joy and happiness to the family home.
Growing up on Courtney St. NW, Wayne lived a typical childhood of the times. His mother was a homemaker and his father worked at American Seating Company, a fast-growing industry of the times. He attended West Leonard Elementary School and completed school through the eighth grade at Harrison Park Jr. High. As a young adolescent, he loved to hunt small game and fish to his heart’s delight; a pastime that lasted well into his adult years. He also learned the value of a hard day’s work digging graves at Greenwood Cemetery as a young boy alongside his Uncle John. By the time he was a teen, he also had a social life that included hanging out at Richmond Park. One day while he was at the park, he met the woman who would steal his heart forever, Nancy Haberman. For them, it was love at first sight, as from that moment on, the two of them began dating. After proudly serving two years in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Germany running communication lines during the Korean conflict, the two of them joined in marriage by the Justice of the Peace, on July 31, 1954, in South Bend, Indiana.
Eager to start their lives together, Wayne accepted his first job at American Seating where he showed off his exemplary work ethic for a couple of years. He also took a couple of factory jobs before landing at Spartan Stores where he pulled orders, loaded trucks, and drove the Hi-Lo until he retired at the age of sixty-two! Wayne was well respected by his co-workers and never missed a single day of work during his remarkable thirty years at Spartan Stores. He and Nancy raised three wonderful sons; Bob, Steve, and Wade. As a family they enjoyed camping over the years. They started out tent camping in northern Michigan often on Reed Lake in Baldwin before later graduating to a pop-up camper. Many of their favorite spots were in state forest campgrounds instead of state parks and eventually, they moved up to a full-size travel trailer. They made the greatest memories sharing stories at the campfire and waking early to go fishing. These times were very important to Wayne and he instilled in his kids the goodness of nature and the outdoors.
Wayne held many special interests over the years. When it came to food, he was a basic meat and potatoes guy and the more gravy the better! He treasured his days of fishing or watching old Westerns or military movies, yet Nancy was truly his everything. When she passed away after her battle with pancreatic cancer, life was never the same for Wayne. Married for fifty-five wonderful years, the two of them shared a beautiful life journey. Proud of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and satisfied with the life they had built, they looked forward to sharing their golden years together. Sadly, she passed in 2009, leaving Wayne with an ache in his heart to be with her over nearly the last ten years. When Wayne was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, he declined the long painful treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. Instead, he counted his blessings and began his slow decline with his family by his side. Courageous and strong, he faced his fate with grace. Wayne will forever be remembered as hard-working, independent, and dedicated to his job and the family he so loved. May the memories they shared with him bring them comfort in the years ahead and may he rest eternally in peace.
Wayne Edward Andree, aged 83, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away on Sunday, September 8, 2019, at Mercy Health-St. Mary’s. He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy, in 2009, brothers, George (Agnes) Andree, Donald Andree and sister, Evelyn Andree. He is survived by his children, Bob (Carrie) Andree, Steve (Cyndi) Andree, Wade (Rebecca) Andree; eight grandchildren, Matt (Kristin) Andree, Jeff (Katelyn) Andree, Bethany (John) Betts, Erin (Steve) Hansen, Joshua (Allison) Andree, Nathan Andree; ten great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Shirley Andree, Marion Holbrook and Mary Haberman; other nieces, nephews, and special friends. Wayne honorably served his country in the US Army during the Korean War. A service to celebrate Wayne’s life will be held on Friday, September 13, 2019, at 11:00 am at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Visitation at the funeral home on Friday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Faith Hospice. To sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at firstname.lastname@example.org