The Hotchkiss Magazine
Members of the Class were shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of ANDREW DWYER in an automobile accident in January. Many wrote in to Alumnet to share their feelings, and many more attended the memorial service for Andrew in Bedford, NY. Andrew’s cousin, CHRIS BR00KS, wrote the following tribute to him for Class Notes: “Sitting here watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I can’t help but remember how much Andrew loved March Madness. Every year Andrew, his father, and I would pick our teams from the tournament bracket and watch the games to see whose teams won the most games. Andrew loved this time of year, but not as much as he loved family, friends, sports teams and Hotchkiss. Whether making announcements for the paddle team with JOHN HYLAND, playing lacrosse on Centennial, avidly cheering at sports events, or participating in the school fashion show, Andrew embraced everything that Hotchkiss had to offer. He was like an unofficial school mascot, embodying the Hotchkiss spirit more than anybody else that I knew.
Academically, he was one of the smartest people I knew, even though he would not oppose sacrificing doing his work to pull off a prank, play a paddle tennis match, or watch one of his beloved teams on television or in person; nevertheless, he always received excellent grades. While he initially received the nickname “Dogg” because of his habits and mannerisms, I think CUSHING DONELAN and NATE THORNE put it best when they stated the nickname was more appropriate because Dogg was truly man’s best friend. At Hotchkiss, Andrew always supported his friends on the sports field and was always available to help his friends with their problems. Not a day went by when Andrew took Hotchkiss for granted. While we all loved Hotchkiss for the most part, he was the one person who never uttered a complaint about the School because he knew how lucky he was to be at such a place, where he was able to have such experiences. He enjoyed every day that he was at Hotchkiss and the friendships he was able to form with his classmates and the faculty. While those of us who were lucky enough to know him will always have an emptiness inside, we will all happily remember that his friendship made not only our lives at Hotchkiss better but also our lives in general that much more enjoyable for all of us.”
The past few days have been tough for me, but what has helped me the most is the feeling that wherever I go, I know that Dogg is still with me. Today we should be celebrating his life because I know that he is looking down on us telling us to smile and not to feel bad for him. I remember, when Andrew was younger, he couldn’t stand it when his mom would leave him to go somewhere. One time in particular, when we were four, both of our parents went out to lunch and left us at home. He threw the biggest temper tantrum and grabbed the phone dialing random numbers hoping to get in touch with his mom. The funny thing is that while he became the most laid back person I knew, his love for his family was still as strong as it was that day.
At Hotchkiss, he was the ultimate fan of his friends. To him, the best team he was on was his team of friends. It didn’t matter what sport was being played, you knew that you could count on the Dogg to show up and to bring a crowd with him. I can still picture Dogg and company at Hotchkiss hockey games, controlling the music, with his face painted and smashing garbage cans with lacrosse shafts to make noise. At times the administration thought that Dogg was over the top, but the fact was that he was doing it to support his friends. For the rest of my life, wherever I play hockey, I will always imagine Dogg hanging over the glass screaming for me because I know that is what he would have been doing if he were here today.
A true testament to people’s love of Dogg has been displayed the past few days at his house. Whether it is friends from Hotchkiss, Bedford, Yale, Fishers or Florida, many people who consider him a great friend, came to show support for their family. And because we all had such a deep a connection to Dogg, it was easy to meet these friends of his and make them feel like friends of mine. These are people, that before recently I did not know well, but now I feel that I will remain close to them forever because of the common bond that we share in being friends with Dogg.
Integrating two groups of friends was Dogg’s specialty. For most people, it is extremely tough joining great friends from different places. But for Dogg, he didn’t classify his friends from where he met them, he felt that all his friends from different places could be together at any point and get along.
The last night I saw him. He was in New York City with his Frat brothers. However, this did not stop him from calling a couple of his Hotchkiss friends to meet up. When we showed up at the bar, we were greeted with a huge smile from the Dogg, who proceeded to introduce us to his friends from Yale. We stayed for a few hours and had a great time with him. I am happy to say that the last picture I have of him was a huge smile while getting into a cab saying goodbye. Andrew lived everyday of his life to its fullest. As an avid Yankee fan, which caused several arguments between the two of us, he lived the dream of hanging out with Derek Jeter at Toad’s Place in New Haven. He lived his life with no regrets because he never held anything back. I know he’s smiling down on us today because the only things that he’d frown about were a loss by his sports teams or a bad shot in golf. Never in my life have I met anyone so devoted to his family or his friends. He was my best friend and the closest thing I’ve ever had to a brother.
To Andy, Cindy, Nancy and Elly, while you may have lost your son or your brother, you now have 22 others who will never replace him but will be here for you guys forever.