Andrew Joseph Antekeier, age 72, of Eastpoint, died Friday, June 6, 2014, at E.T. York Hospice Care Center in Gainesville from complications of treatment for advanced prostate cancer.
The world lost a magic man when Andy left it. He was a force of nature with great zest for life and a love of people. He was a great cook who could never understand why anyone would need a recipe. He enjoyed a game of golf, pool, or cards, loved fishing and growing things. He was a runner until he had to walk, a sailor until he chose instead to live by the sea, a hiker unafraid of what lay ahead on the trail, and the king of the campfire. He was a great hugger and inventor of the hug sandwich, loved by his grandchildren.
Andy never met a stranger. He bestowed special names on his loved ones, and was known by several himself, from Jose Gaspar to Mr. Weekend to his favorite of all, Popster the Wopster.
He was a regular blood donor with 260 recorded donations over many years. Since retirement Andy has been a volunteer at the Franklin County Food Pantry.
Andy loved sports and was a dedicated fan of the Michigan State Spartans. Anyone who met Andy quickly learned about the Green and White. He rooted passionately for all of the Spartan teams in good times and in bad, and always wore his colors.
Andy was born Dec. 23, 1941, in Muskegon, Michigan to Arnold and Alberta Dion Antekeier, both of whom predecease him.
He graduated from Muskegon Catholic Central High School, Class of 1960. He attended Muskegon Community College, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley University where he earned a bachelor of science degree with high honors in psychology in 1976. He worked full time during his 10-year pursuit of a college degree.
In 1965, Andy married Barbara Charron in Muskegon. They had two children, Alison in 1967, and Andrew in 1969, both of whom survive him along with their mother, now Barbara Kendall.
Andy's career years centered around sales. He was a gifted salesman no matter what the product. He was a corporate recruiter and owned Antekeier Associates in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He continued in various sales jobs after relocating to Florida in 1981, eventually settling in Indian Rocks Beach.
In 1988, he opened a retail store called TShirts N Stuff on Indian Rocks Beach which he operated for 10 years. It was a fun place with windows full of signs and cartoons alongside the merchandise. Those windows reflected his liberal political and strong anti-war views, and his pride in being a lifelong Democrat. Shoppers came to the store as much for the conversations with Andy as for the Florida T-shirts he sold them.
In 1989, Andy married Susan Clayton of Tampa. In Susan he found a person whose love of life was equal to his. They have managed to pack about 50 years of living into their 25 years together.
In 1998, Andy and Susan discovered the small town of Eastpoint along Florida's Forgotten Coast. It was love at first sight. After many years of planning and a lot of luck, they were able to retire to their place on Apalachicola Bay in 2006. During retirement they also enjoyed great times in their RV, camping, exploring the back roads, and the outdoors.