The Fishers Island Gazette

Andrew Knox Dwyer, 20, of Hobe Sound, Fla., died Jan. 17 in an automobile accident returning to Yale from a trip to New York City. His sudden death brought hundreds of mourners to his memorial service Jan. 21 in Bedford.

Andrew’s exuberance for life and the sheer joy he took in his love of ‘family and friends was the universal theme expressed at the service by those who knew and loved him.

His sisters Nancy and Elly talked of the unusual closeness among the three siblings. Their brother was their best friend, a young man who shrugged off any notion that it was strange to have an older sister join him and his friends for an evening.

“I cannot begin to imagine life without Andrew,” Nancy said. “He was a gift that entered our lives and changed our family forever.

While immediate memories of Andrew focused on his “wacky, goofy” side and his unquestionable loyalty to his friends, there were other elements, his deep intelligence and quick wit that were so much a part of his personality.

Andrew was seldom out-argued and planned to major in political science at Yale. He quickly found solutions to problems, always with a selflessness that led to a multitude of friendships. Nearly all of his friends, whether from Bedford, Hotchkiss, Fishers Island or Yale, considered him their best friend. As a testament to Andrew, those disparate friends now acknowledge a lifelong bond, just having known him.

Andrew was born June 21, 1982 in Bedford, the son of Cynthia and Andrew Dwyer. He was a 1998 honor roll graduate of Rippowam-Cisqua School in Bedford, where he played three varsity sports, and a 2001 honor roll graduate of Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., where he played varsity lacrosse and captained the paddle tennis team. Andrew was a member of Yale’s Class of 2005 and of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon.

An obsessive sports fan, Andrew, known as “Dogg” to his friends, was a tough competitor as well. He and a friend resurrected the dormant paddle tennis team at Hotchkiss and built a new team that defeated Salisbury for the first time in school history.

In spite of the paddle tennis, lacrosse, pick-up basketball games, pool and tubing in front of the Dwyer’s house on Fishers Island, Andrew had one overriding passion in sports: golf. Hi’s 5.3 handicap tamed courses at both the Fishers Island Club and the Bedford Golf & Tennis Club. It was acknowledged that only an early morning tee time could arouse Andrew, who liked to sleep late.

He also loved spending time at Isabella Beach with his childhood friend Jake Grand, always’acknowledging Fishers Island. as his favorite place to be.

Andrew is remembered affectionately for his idiosyncrasies and his generosity: he embraced cheeseburgers and cheesedogs, never wavering in his rejection of vegetables. He ordered food for friends, day or night, often picking up the tab. He was a sports encyclopedia and never met a prank or a person he did not like. He had the uncanny ability to weave humor into serious situations and always looked for ways to lift the spirits of others. “He was the most loving, caring, compassionate person I ever met. Ever,” a friend said.

Andrew’s first word was, “Elly. ” Speaking at his memorial service, Elly said, … I know he is laughing, and on occasion dancing. I thank God for blessing my life so much with Andrew. My best brother and my best friend.”