Edward “Ed” W. Andrews, of Springfield, Illinois, passed away on Sunday, November 25 at St. John’s Hospital, as the result of a long term illness. Ed was born in Gydnia, Poland on May 3, 1924, and was originally named Boleslaw Wincenty Andrezjewski. He changed both his surname and family name upon becoming a U.S. citizen.
He was preceded in death by numerous family members due to the Nazi Occupation of Poland in World War II. As a young teenaged boy, Ed was taken to Germany and interred in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. His Mother, Viktoria, and his sister Zofia went missing at some point during the war, and were never recovered. Only his sister, Wanda, and an older brother survived through the War.
Ed escaped with two Russian Army officers and eventually evaded their way to Yugoslavia where they were received by Tito’s resistance fighters. When Ed reached the Italian border, he left Tito’s resistance and joined the Polish Army under command of the British forces. He served with the Polish II Corps and fought at the famous battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. His forced internment in a concentration camp and valorous combat service was officially verified by the government of the Republic of Poland, and the Consul General of the Polish Consulate Office in Chicago. Representatives of the Polish Military Attache in Washington, DC traveled to his home in Springfield in 2000 and presented him with numerous awards and citations honoring his valor, service and sacrifice.
Initially after the War, he lived in England where he met his wife, Anne (Testrow), who he married in 1952. While in England he became a steadfast Manchester United football (soccer) fan and enjoyed following the team the rest of his life. In 1954, he emigrated to the United States with Anne and their infant son, Laurence. He settled his family in Springfield where his wife, Anne, had family living.
Ed worked several jobs before being hired by Allison-Chalmers. He worked there while preparing himself to work in what would be his hallmark career, a construction General Contractor. While working for several different local contractors, Ed completed Chicago Technical College’s Construction Technology coursework. He then embarked on his path of rendering superbly built or rebuilt homes, office buildings and restaurants in the Springfield area.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Anne, a son, Laurence, and his wife Debra, granddaughters, Viktoria and Alexandra, who are named in honor of his Mother and Sister who were killed during the war, a grandson, Donald, and his wife Maggie, three great-grandchildren, and two step-grandsons, Michael and John Kueker.
Ed loved his wife, his family, his pet dogs, soccer and his adoptive country, the United States. He ensured that his son and grandchildren understood and appreciated the opportunities presented to them. He enjoyed the challenges his work presented and never back away from any of them.
He will be loved and missed by all who knew him. God rest and protect his soul.
Visitation: 11 am – 1 pm, Thursday, November 29, 2012 at Staab Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 1 pm, Thursday, November 29, 2012 at Staab Funeral Home . Burial to follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions can be made to St. John’s Hospice.
Be the first to share a memory of Edward.