Andrew “Andy” Brett Preston was born on January 13, 1983 in Yuba City, California to Mary and Charles Preston. He made his passage from this world and into the next on April 23, 2019 from Portland, Oregon.
Andy was an emissary of Light and Love from the day he was born. The young family was further blessed by the arrival of his brother Christian on January 12, 1986. That year, parents and young sons moved to Portland, Oregon where Andy attended pre and grade schools. Andy was endowed with a keen intellect and sense of curiosity about the world, nature, people and animals. But it was Andy’s heart that truly defined him through each phase of his life, continuing to expand its reach and loving power as he grew. In 1994 the family moved to the Columbia Gorge, first to Mill A, and then settling into the rural family home In Snowden in 1996. Andy enjoyed his country adolescence and made many friends while attending White Salmon Schools. He and Chris spent many days and evenings enjoying the fun, camaraderie and antics with these friends in and around the family home. Andy loved music and co-created the band Maxwell Prod with his buddies.
Andy became a firefighter by volunteering with the local Cherry Lane department in Snowden, followed by work with Washington DNR and Oregon Department of Forestry. While with DNR, he once appeared as Smokey the Bear (full costume) in the Bingen 4th of July parade- it was 97 degrees! Andy graduated from Columbia High School in 2001, then spent a year at COCC in Bend and later studied at Portland Community College. Although he possessed a brilliant intellect, Andy eschewed formal education to pursue the rewards of developing the ability to create harmony in most any situation and spread the seeds of unconditional Love to knowing, and, unknowing recipients alike!
Having spent his earlier years there, Andy loved Portland and reveled in the opportunity to return. He worked at New Seasons Markets for about 8 years, attracted to that company’s founding principles, where he met and initiated friendships with so many like-minded, humor-loving people. He felt he had found his calling when he moved into the Beer and Wine department, first at Progress Ridge, and then at the Grant Park store. His involvement in that business dovetailed perfectly with Andy’s love of food and his Epicurean philosophy of life. Recently, he took a new position working in the Vino Volo Wine Bar at the Portland airport.
Andy, from childhood on was a loyal fan of the Oregon Ducks, and he had an uncanny knack of receiving gift tickets to Duck games from his regular customers. His devotion to the Trailblazers was unwavering as well, but it was the Timbers who captured Andy’s full enthusiasm. He relished the charged green-smoke bedlam of Providence Park on match day! On more than one occasion he lost his voice following a Timbers game. He was the subject of a local televised interview at 6 am on a frigid morning as he stood in line for Timbers tickets. Andy had the knack of making unsolicited media appearances: on the front page of the Bend Bulletin as an ODF firefighter; in the Oregonian dressed as Willie Mays, and again with his brother Chris at “The Bite” in Tom McCall Park; and in a couple “Man On the Street” segments for Portland TV stations. He was a subject in a short documentary film made by his friend Andrea Fox, and made his film acting debut as a scene-chewing slacker alien in a movie made by some of his Portland friends.
Andy loved being in Nature and hiked countless trails in the Gorge, Cascades, the Oregon Coast, Maui and Portland, usually with family or friends, and dogs. His most recent large-scale outing was a week last summer in the North Cascades with his close buddy, Matt Knauss. He also became a biking enthusiast in Portland, commuting to and from work by bicycle or on foot. Andy stoically persevered Northwest Winters but was known to rip his shirt off at the first hint of February sun. Although of modest means and circumstances, Andy lived like a King due his ability to derive pleasure and joy from the simplest things- a sunny day for example, sharing a beer and a burger (or two) with friends, or sharing Love with an animal. Although Andy made no pretense of being one, he was a natural and subtle teacher, always wise beyond his years. Harmony and ease with people were the byproducts of Andy’s being. His presence elicited joy, comfort and ease. Andy knew how to gently love and accept himself in any circumstance, and so never found it necessary to change his behavior or his essential self, no matter the setting. Andy was Andy! His sense of humor was legendary- gentle yet lethal at the same time, He was a keen observer and lover of people, and so often, his family, friends and coworkers found themselves in hysterics, the recipients of Andy’s practical jokes and humor.
Andy received more than his share of adversity in life. However, it was his response to life’s challenges that was a huge factor in defining who Andy was. After a difficult birth, Andy was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and faced a lifetime succession of shunt surgeries. But due to the healing intervention and one-time treatment by Dr. John Houtman of Paradise, CA, the condition completely disappeared leaving the surgeons baffled, and his family overjoyed! Andy was 4 months old. At 5 years, he underwent multiple surgeries to correct abdominal birth defects. Andy’s largest challenge arrived when he was 25- a brain tumor which required immediate surgery. His doctors predicted mortality in a year or two. But Andy got to work and created a paradigm for himself that moved the power equation away from the medical system and into his own heart and hands, where he was in control of his attitudes and his destiny. He taught himself to live each day, one moment at a time, in simple acceptance. And this is how he courageously, yet invisibly, became the gentle loving and peaceful presence who projected a confidence that defined his past eleven years.
Andy is survived by his parents, Charles and Mary of Snowden: beloved brother, Chris ( Kersti) of Monmouth, OR; Aunts and Uncles- Paul and Judy Preston, Wenatchee, WA; Jan Smithers, Ojai, CA; Holly Rose, Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia; Betsy and Don Welch, Gladstone, OR; Cousins Jonathan (Trisha, Jacob and Sammy) Campabello, Anchorage, AK; Molly(Justin Johnson) Brolin, Ojai, CA; Michael (Carrie)Preston, Portland, OR; Matthew (Megan) Preston, Richmond, VA; and countless friends, both dear and casual, especially longtime close friend, Kris Patrick. Andy was pre-deceased by his Grandparents Burril and Deda Preston, and Brett and Virginia Smithers; Aunt Kristen Smithers, Uncle Bud Preston, and his beloved dogs Daisy, Tuffy, Demian and cats Dude, Cookie, Scoutie and Tom.
A Celebration of Andy and his life, potluck-style, will be held at the family home in Snowden at 2:00 p.m., Saturday July 6th, 2019.
Friends are encouraged to leaves notes, memories and pictures at www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com
His untimely death leaves much sadness for his family, services are pending at this time but friends are encouraged to leaves notes, memories and pictures at www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.