Andrew A. VezisSeptember 4, 1966 ~ August 13, 2017 (age 50)
SPRINGFIELD-Andrew Andrejs Vezis, 50, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones. He succumbed to colorectal cancer on August 13, 2017 after more than three and a half years.
Andy was born in Hitchin, England and moved to the United States at one year of age. He spent the majority of his younger years growing up in Agawam, MA and graduated from Agawam High School in 1984. He attended the University of Massachusetts and majored in both Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering and was a Software Developer. He worked for a number of organizations starting with Bridgeport National Book Bindery, where he met his life partner of more than 28 years, Kimberly Schoolcraft. He spent 20 years at Solutions by Computer doing hardware and software development before moving to the medical software development field with Riverbend Medical, Baystate Hospital, and Advantech Consulting.
His interests were many and varied. He spent 17 years working for the YMCA of Greater Springfield managing the YMCA Community Rowing Program on the Connecticut River, training lifeguards, and teaching swimming lessons. He maintained CPR, First Aid, scuba, and lifeguard instructor certificates. He worked for a time at Colorado Ski Shop and loved being close to the skiing community. He was a long time member of the IEEE and helped to reestablish the then defunct Springfield MA chapter and held the positions of Vice Chair, Treasurer, and Web Master. He enjoyed working out & body building, reading science fiction, following the stock market, and was a founder and partner of BrandX Investment Club. He enjoyed skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, swimming, camping, and backpacking. A lover of the outdoors he especially liked climbing Mount Washington, hiking in VT, and on Mount Greylock. He spent a summer assisting with trail maintenance on the Mt. Tom State Reservation, helping to construct a bridge on one of the walking trails. He talked fondly of time spent in his youth racing motorcycles and continued to keep a motorcycle license. He held his private pilot license and loved to fly! Andy was always the adventurer trying everything: helicopter lessons, sky diving, hang gliding, white water rafting, kayaking, scuba diving (dry suit certified), sailing lessons, rock climbing, spelunking, archery, ballroom dancing, and glass blowing. He held the technicians class license for HAM radio, was very interested in net zero housing options, and attended a mini-medical school multi week training. He loved to travel with Kim as well as with various friends & family and has been to Canada (F1 racing, Winter Festival, skiing), England, Latvia, the USVI, Bermuda, Bahamas, Western Caribbean, St. Lucia, Switzerland/Italy ski trip, many of the U.S. states visiting the Grand Canyon, camping on a private island in Douglas, MA, and one of his favorite trips, Alaska, where he was able to rock climb, rappel, and walk on a glacier. Andy was always more than willing to jump in and help whenever someone had a household project, a car repair, or a computer problem.
Andy and Kim would like to thank the team at Mercy Medical Center’s Sister Caritas Cancer Center and various departments including the I.R. Dept., E.D., and 5th floor staff, all of whom are now considered friends (a very special thank you to Becky, Kathy L., Cindy L., Mary, and Dr. Farooqui).
He is predeceased by his parents Uldis and Rasma Vezis. He leaves behind his brother Richard “Bob” Vezis and wife Monique of California, as well as the love of his life Kimberly Schoolcraft. He also leaves behind his dear niece, Lauren Izzy Masiunas Hendriks and wife Robin of the Netherlands, and many very beloved friends.
Andy, we will miss your enthusiasm for life and learning, your stories, your smile, and your sparkling blue eyes. You’ve taught us all so much!
Family and friends are invited to attend a funeral service on Saturday morning August 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church (please meet directly at the church), 127 Holyoke Road, Westfield, MA 01085, burial will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery, Westfield, MA. Loved ones will be received at a celebration of Andy’s life on Friday, August 25, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Avalon Life Celebration Center & Cremation Services, LLC 691 College Hwy., Southwick, MA. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial donation to New England Public Radio (nepr.net), WGBY (www.wgby.org), or the New England Air Museum (www.neam.org). To express a condolence, or to share memories or photos, please visit Andy’s memorial page at www.avaloncelebrations.com
A Life Celebration Luncheon will be held immediately following the burial at Papps Bar & Grill, 110 Airport Rd. (Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport) Westfield, MA 01085
New England Air Museum
New England Public Radio