OUD email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-30 published
Mentor, gourmet cook, handyman, husband, father. Born January 11, 1949, in Leeds, England. Died June 19 in Rockwood, Ontario, of a heart attack, aged 58.
By Rhonda OUD, Page L8
I met Andrew when we were both at Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture and Food in the mid-1990s, working on relocating the ministry to Guelph. I'd been waiting for months to talk to him; I had questions, and he had all the answers. But actually meeting with Andrew was proving harder than finding Jimmy Hoffa.
When we finally did meet, I was instantly charmed and impressed. We all felt that way about him: Grown men and women suddenly became like children around Andrew, who like the Pied Piper led us to exactly where we needed to be.
Andrew's goal was to make our new office a genuine community where people from different cultures, cities and ministries could come together under one roof. His enthusiasm was contagious. He could describe the process of applying cherry-wood veneer to the balconies in the sun-filled atrium as easily as he could challenge visiting schoolchildren to find the fossils in its limestone walls.
Always running late, Andrew would grab a coffee from the ground-floor Second Cup and dash off saying, "I'll pay you later, Tiffany." And Tiffany would nod and smile and let him go, knowing that he might remember to pay later on, but more likely wouldn't. We all just loved him so.
He was known across the Ontario public service for his mentorship, and those who benefited are proud to be alumnae of the Andrew Mellor School for Wayward Women. Like most of the graduates, I was often a little rough around the edges, and Andrew helped me to become more "swave" and "deboner" (as he pronounced them). I felt like Eliza Doolittle, and so I called him Professor.
Andrew knew about so many things: literature, architecture, music, art, gourmet food, fine wine, Egyptian cotton, Persian rugs, politics, history, home renovations and physics. He was never without a proper handkerchief and leather lace-up oxfords, but his wardrobe also included a propeller hat and a glow-in-the-dark bow tie.
He knew the details of an English high tea, but you could count on him to join you for a hot dog in the park. Over the years I counted on him in so many ways, and he never let me down. He was always late, but he was always there.
There are pages yet to be written about Andrew's wide circle of Friends, and chapters about his love for wife Diane and for their two sons, and books about his great and good spirit.
On the day he died, two weeks after retiring, I found a quote from Winston Churchill. It was as if Andrew was leaving me one last piece of advice:
You make a living from what you get; you make a life from what you give.
Rhonda OUD is Andrew's friend.
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