Andrew James Gray

Monday, July 31, 2017 4:34 pm

Andrew James Gray, 47, of Northfield, Minn., died Friday, July 28, 2017, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester.

He was born in La Crosse, Wis., March 3, 1970, at 4 p.m. to Dr. James and Karen (Bonnette) Gray. He grew up in Spring Grove and Mabel. Andrew graduated in 1988 from Spring Grove High School and headed off to Luther College where he embraced the Norse life! And with the help of Mabe’s pizza and late night study sessions with lifelong friends like Lara Wold-Mendez and Dr. David Jorde, he graduated in 1992 with a degree in elementary education.

He sang with the Norseman his freshman year and sang bass for three succeeding years in Nordic Choir under the direction of Weston Noble. During the Russia tour, he was honored to serve as Dr. Noble’s personal valet. He experienced a deep respect for freedom while watching tears streaming down the faces of Iron Curtain citizens as the choir performed national anthems that citizens had been forbidden to sing.

He served as president of the WIMI Fraternity. One of Andrew’s early goals was to be president of Luther College someday. He was passionate about Luther’s philosophy and mission to shape young people spiritually, educationally and for service to others.

Andrew married Carrie Willett May 28, 2006, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove. This marriage produced two delightful children – Kyle (age 6) and Karna (age 3-3/4). On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Andrew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Throughout his 16-month journey of chemo, radiation, immunotherapy and transplant, his parents were by his side as caregivers when Carrie had to be at home to care for their children. Carrie’s mother, Lorraine, was also a godsend caring for the children for months at a time allowing Carrie to continue to work at St. Kate’s in St. Paul.

All of the friends that Andrew had, and continued to make, carried him through his treatments along with his unshakeable faith that kept him until the very end.
Survivors include his wife, Carrie, and children, Kyle and Karna, all of Northfield; his parents, Jim and Karen Gray of Spring Grove; a brother, Paul (Heather) and their children, Ben and Hannah, all of Spring Grove; Carrie’s parents, Gene and Lorraine Willett of Brooklyn, Ia.; brother-in-law Kelly Willett of Grinnell and his son, Chase, and daughter, Mallory; sister-in-law, Mandy (Dustin) Westerdale of Brooklyn, Ia. and their three sons, Garrett, Mason and Trace; numerous aunts, uncles and their families; and a host of dear friends.

A celebration of life service was held Aug. 1, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove, with burial in the Trinity Cemetery. The family prefers memorials be given to Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester where Andrew, Carrie and his parents spent so many months. Donate online at gift-of-life.org/donation/ or call 507-288-7470.

Two non-profits were equally important to Andrew: Prairie Creek Community School, which Kyle attends, (27695 Denmark Ave. Northfield, MN 55057) and Northfield Montessori where Karna goes to preschool (northfieldmontessori.org) or donor’s choice.

Roble Funeral Home, Spring Grove, assisted the family with arrangements. A full obituary and additional information can be found online at roblefuneralhome.com.

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