A Life Lived: Robert Andrews believed in power of ‘forgiveness’

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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Robert Andrews was a conversationalist, who loved to talk about God’s forgiveness…that according to his older brother, Jeff Andrews.
Jeff in his eulogy to Robert noted his little brother knew something about almost everything. “The subject might be computers, working on a car/truck, playing music, children, women, among other things. For sure though, two things were certain to come up in these conversations: Family and the Grace of the Lord,” Jeff shared.
Both Jeff and Robert’s sister, Theresa, shared that Robert went down some dark roads early in life, most of them following friends and a good time. “Those roads got him hooked on some bad stuff. Stuff, that in the end, shortened his life,” both said.
However, the bad stuff and those dark roads were not the good things about Robert nor did they define who he was. You see, Robert found grace and forgiveness in the Lord, turned his life around, and just couldn’t get over the new life and joy he found.
Robert sang about it and shared the story of forgiveness everywhere he went. He enjoyed playing his guitar and singing gospel music all over East Tennessee. For a time he played in an alternative Christian band “Joyful Noise.”
“He understood how wonderful it was to be forgiven and to be able to forgive. He wanted everybody to have the spirit of forgiveness. He understood that being saved, that being a Christian, does not mean one is perfect. It means that you have been forgiven,” shared Jeff in his eulogy.
Theresa shared Robert was gifted in many ways. “He could work on computers, motorcycles, cars, trucks, lawnmowers. If he didn’t know how to fix something he’d research or ask until he found the answers. He was unreal. He had so much talent. Robert was very smart and enjoyed tackling new things. One of his favorite things to do was to work on cars for folks who couldn’t afford a mechanic. Often, if he needed a part for a car, he would pay for it himself,” shared Theresa.
Like so many other things he did, Robert taught himself to play the guitar…as well as a number of other instruments.
Growing up, Robert attended Hampton High School. He and his cousin, Tim Andrews, played football together. For all of his hard work on the football field he was named Best Defensive Player by Coach J.C. Campbell and the staff. “It was an honor he was always quite proud of,” said Jeff.
Robert and Tim were both the same age and the two boys developed a brotherly bond that was unbreakable. “I didn’t have any brothers, just two sisters, so Robert was like a brother to me,” said Tim. “He was a loving, forgiving person, always wore a smile. Robert was a good man and it was rough losing him,” said Tim.
Robert was a butcher by trade. He learned his butchering skills from Jim Pittman, and worked as a butcher at a number of grocery stories, including Pay Less and White’s. “He sometimes picked up a few extra bucks helping Jim during deer season. He was a hard worker,” said Jeff.
Theresa also shared that Robert enjoyed genealogy. “He was very interested in family history. He lived with me the last three months of his life and he talked a lot about family history. Robert was very smart, very loving, and a lot of fun. There was not much Robert couldn’t do. And, if he couldn’t do, he learned how to do it,” Theresa shared.
In addition to Theresa and Jeff, Robert had two other sisters, Patti and Robin, and a younger brother, Walter. He also had two sons, Benjamin and Jacob, whom he adored.
Robert was many things to many people — strong, courageous, hard working, intelligent, kind, grateful, generous. But the two things that marked his life in the end was that Robert was a strong Christian, who according to Jeff was praising the Lord right up to his final hours. He also had a spirit of forgiveness. Robert never got over God’s love for him and His forgiveness. Jeff said he would often say to him, “Where would we be without forgiveness?”
Robert Andrews not only experienced forgiveness, but he knew how to forgive. Rarely, did he point fingers.
Robert Andrews died September 18, and at his funeral the contemporary Christian song “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” by Chris Tomlin was played…for sure, the words run true for Robert: “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free…My God, my Savior has ransomed me…And like a flood his mercy reigns…Unending love…Amazing grace.”

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