Last weekend I lost my best friend, my lover, my confidant, my teacher, my partner, my protector, my companion, my mentor. The best thing that has ever happened to me was the last 27 years with you. I will love you always, miss you forever and carry you in my heart for eternity. I love you Andy. Your Kenny.
My dear cousin Andy was always special. The last of the Waddell clan in our generation to be born, he was an intelligent, precocious child able to converse almost as soon as we could talk with adoring parents, uncles and aunts. He was the hit of the Waddell Christmas Parties in the 60's. He was loved by all. I will remember him most for his gentle, kind nature and for his strength as he courageously fought the HIV illness that struck him at such a young age. Our prayers are with Richard, Nancy, Leslie and especially with Ken, who has been a rock and devoted partner for almost 30 years. Ken, you are wonderful, and you had a wonderful gift from God for the past 27 years. God has now called your and our beloved Andy back home.
Andy's loss has left a blank space in my life. I'm struck by all the life ahead without his company, wisdom, warmth and smile. In the last several years he Ken, John (often Timmy) and I were like the 4 musketeers--we traveled together, we had regular Sunday dinners, we went to art opening, spiritual readings, we shared our birthday (April Fools Day) and intimate details of our lives--good, bad and scary. Andy has been with me for almost every important marker in my life, certainly all of them in the last decade and most of them for the last 35 years. He both encouraged me and was was brutally honest at times--like only a close brother of BFF could be. He supported me--through my triumphs like when I made my film, or when I was in emotional distress, and he gently and lovingly helped guide dear little Bella. Andy and Kenny have been part of our family. Kenny, thank you for loving him so unconditionally, and so well. Andy's love lives on in all of us, but especially in you, reminding me that the first 7 years of Bella's life she thought that Ken and Andy had the same name--Kenenandy. With love and light, we love you Andy.
I didn’t really know Andy. I spoke with him at a couple of office parties and enjoyed our conversations. I am not a sentimental person, but this site brought tears to my eyes. From the pictures, I can tell:
1. Andy & I would have been great friends.
2. Ken & Andy had a wonderful life together and made each other very happy.
3. Ken has made some very questionable hairstyle choices over the years.
Ken, I have been thinking of you constantly these last two weeks. Django has included you, Kenmomsfriendfromwork, on his prayer list. I hope you know there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.
Ken - this is a lovely tribute to Andy. He will be truly missed. You are in my heart and prayers.
Ken, sorry for your loss, although we wouldnt see you often we will remember the visits up north at the cabin and the interesting conversations with Andy and yourself. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Take care cousin!
Jeff, Joellen, Gavin, Carson and Mason
Nevermind the hairstyle choices - what about the recurring black sequin vest!
Ken, Joseph and I really enjoyed chatting with Andy also - he was so friendly and kind. You and Andy are a wonderful example of how two people should love each other. Thank you for that.
I had the enormous honor to build this site as a tribute to Andy. In doing so, I realized that even though I feel like I haven't known him that long, he has been an integral part of my family and friends lives since I was a child, offering love, laughter and insight. In the recent years Stephanie and I both bonded with Andy together and individually, usually at Maureen and John's house. I remember staying up until the wee hours of the morning, smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, talking about everything and anything that came to mind, which ranged from some of the most deep and meaningful conversations to the obscure and just plain raunchy. Stephanie bonded most with Andy as they sat on the patio or took walks around the neighborhood, always deeply engrossed in great talks.
Stephanie and I were both very happy when Ken and Andy came to Austin for our wedding and really became a part of the family, going horseback riding and getting to hang out with everyone that matters most to us. Although he left us suddenly, he will always have a place in our hearts as he does in so many others'.
In a conversation with Kenny recently, he remarked on the enormous number of things he’d learned from Andy in the course of their 27 years together and it got me to thinking.
I began to generate what soon became a sprawling list which included items as diverse as garnering a never imagined appreciation for enormous hairdos and how to talk like you have a cigarette dangling out of the corner of your mouth. The list went on and on, and in fact at such great length that I got bored with the enumeration of it and became intrigued instead with ascertaining a pattern. And yet the pattern stubbornly refused to reveal itself after numerous extensive bouts of review. I did find it extremely comforting, however, when it became obvious to me that Andy's teachings would continue despite his sharp painful departure from my movie.
I mulled on, reviewing the numerous scenarios of my life with Andy, searching for the shining thread which must surely connect them. Frustrated by a lack of results, I resorted to searching the internet for inspiring poetry on loss and death so I could at least try and sound smart or look confident on the topic, which was a terrible idea and simply resulted in my reading a great deal about feathery wings and shining souls, not a bit of which resonated with that demon in my gut that seemed so determined I should speak.
I returned to the exercise of cataloging the myriad ingredients of Andy, the minutia of his bearing, the brawn of his vocabulary, the idiosyncrasies of his speech and most assuredly his infectious cackle, and that's when it finally dawned on me: Andy's greatest gift to me was blossoming the love of detail I so cherish in my own existence. Kenny said it beautifully when he described Andy as "an aesthetic genius", a man who obviously drank in every little nuance of what he saw before him and could transmit it with ease and affection to others.
As anyone who sat in conversation with Andy can attest to, he could go on at great length with a story or description - even a sentence! Yet he was a master at slowly unfurling the underpinnings of a narrative to the point that the listener eagerly anticipated the conclusion, not for brevity's sake, but because it was akin to solving a complicated and challenging puzzle. Andy was so extremely compelling in this art that I feel he almost single-handedly gave me the enduring gift of patience in listening. And for having developed that skill, my life is filled with continual pleasure borne of the richness that life offers for those inclined to slow down and observe it.
I invite each of you to share this splendid treasure by taking a moment to pause, patiently, and celebrate Andy in the same way - revel in the particulars of his being, whether it takes the form of the studied way he folded his glasses, the careful way he measured the ingredients of a cocktail or the intensity with which he was able to roll his eyes. There are so many details that inform the gorgeous and exotic aesthetic of Andy, please do not hesitate to enjoy a single one in his honor.
With much love,
My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family. I did not have the opportunity to know him. I knew his sister Nancy, though. My "Aunt Nancy". It sounds as though the love, light and passion for life are family traits. You can see it in his eyes as you can in those of his sister, and, judging by his pictures, it was passed on to all those around him. May God's mercy and love support you during this time.
I worked with Ken at Deupi + Associates in Washington, DC and met Andy at that time. I remember Andy as a dear, sweet soul, much like his partner Ken, and took great pleasure in being in their company. Andy's goodness will be missed by many. with deepest regards and sympathies, Chris
Kenneth and all of Andy's family, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss. We will cherish the wonderful times and memories of Andy. All our love, Sharyn Godley, Faye Howard
I grew up down the street from Andy in Meyerland and we shared many wonderful times as kids! He was always so funny and I have thought of him often throughout the years, especially on his birthday!
I grew up across the street from Andy, and we were part of the same group of friends on the block. He was 5 years older than me, so he was always a part of my world when I was growing up. He was funny, caring, irreverent, and unique. I remember a few times he'd pretend to be a woman named Mabel, which cracked me up. He'd often called me Paulie-Poo.
I didn't see much of him once he went off to college. But many years later, after I had grown up and moved to Washington DC, I was on an airplane flying from DC to Houston, and sitting on the row behind me was none other than Andy. We contacted each other once we were back in Washington. He and Ken had me over for dinner. When I told my family about it, the best way to describe him was to say he was "still Andy." He was still funny, still irreverent, still sweet, and still calling me Paulie-Poo. (I don't think he remembered Mabel, though).
Over the years, I've thought of Andy often. And every time, I've smiled.
I just heard of Andy's passing...I was a friend of Andy's(I called him Drew) while we were both studying architecture at Texas A&M. He had an unbelievable design eye and a great sense of humor. I consider him one of my best college buddies. We were even arrested together, burning a study model on the roof of the architecture building at 2 in the morning.
I'll always have fond memories of Andy Waddell...
I went all through Lovett Elementary with Andy and counted him as one of my best and closest friends. Although we drifted apart (after grade school) as is often the case, I kept up with him through my aunt and his cousin, Fay Manford, until her death. I see in this lovely tribute that Andy continued to be the dear, sweet person I remember him to be. He was a special person. My condolences to his partner Ken and the Waddell family.
As a very distant Waddell cousin in the UK,(I can show you the connection) I have been very interested to read about Andy and other members of the Houston family. If anyone is interested in the family tree of the Ouley Waddells, I would be happy to make contact.
6th August 2013