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Obituary for Andrew Gordon Dolan
Andy, age 46, Edwards, Colorado
Andy Dolan, son of Francis and Gail Dolan of Norwich, Vermont, died at Denver Health Medical Center on Sunday, December 27, 2020, of injuries sustained when he was struck by a car in Avon, Colorado on December 5, 2020. Andy was born in Burlington, Vermont on September 16, 1974 and joined his sister Kirsten at their home on McKenna Road on October 11, 1974. Andy grew up in Norwich where he enjoyed family life and where he had many friends. He went to pre-school at the Norwich Nursery School where Gail was a teacher; he was proud of his time during the summer when he was the big kid and helped with the younger kids at the Nursery School summer program. He attended Marion Cross School in Norwich and graduated from Hanover High School in 1993. While in school, Andy played basketball, soccer and ran track and skied in Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado. Immediately after high school graduation, Andy and a couple of his friends piled into Andy’s old Saab and made the trek to Colorado. His friends returned home by the end of the summer, but Andy stayed on for another year before attending the University of Vermont. He spent only one year at UVM because the lure of the mountains became too great, pulling him to Colorado for good in 1995. Andy worked at a variety of jobs from landscaping, carpentry, ski slope and river side photo/videographer, learning new trades as he went, and as a server and bartender where his gregarious nature fit in perfectly to make new friends. In his first winter in Colorado he learned to make pizza at a bar in Vail where his favorite recipe started out, “... to a 25 pound bag of flour, add a pound of black pepper....”. Andy made many friends in the Vail area who will remember him for his face-plant when he first learned to snowboard, but he became quite proficient and was able to video and photograph ski and snowboard students while he was riding backward down the slopes.
It was while in Colorado that Andy met Tracy Schirmer and where they married in 2001 and raised their wonderful son, Zachary. Although their marriage ended in 2007, he was able to see his son grow up in the Vail Valley, and was very proud to watch Zach take on his love for snowboarding and adventure. It brought him great joy to spend time with his son, teaching him about the outdoors, camping, fishing, biking, tubing in the Eagle River, jeeping, and snowboarding very fast down the mountain together. Zach’s wonderful memories, which will be forever etched in his mind include his animated story-telling (especially Freddy the Frog stories from his childhood) as well as the wonderful and crazy stories about his adventures and fun-filled life; his love of moviemaking and music and the stories about all the concerts he attended at Red Rocks, and the one memorable Grateful Dead concert he attended in Vermont in the summer before Jerry Garcia died. Andy lived life to the fullest. Zach’s final words in memory of his father, “They say that legends live forever and I know he will be remembered for generations to come. He will always be loved and missed by many.”
Andy married Kathleen Prantis in 2015 and together they explored the beaches and the people and culture of Central America and the Caribbean. Kate and her daughters, Lydia and Mary, have many fond memories of life with Andy. They said that he treated life as a true adventure and always seemed to find the silver lining amidst the darkest or seemingly most hopeless times. This contagious light that Andy gave the world serves as a beacon of hope for each and every one of us, as a message that we never know what the future may hold. Kate knows that Andy would say to us: “If you could hear me, I would tell you that our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we have touched”.
Andy was predeceased by his mother, Gail, who died in 2012. He is survived by his father Frank, sister Kirsten, son Zachary, and his wife Kate. He will be missed by his grandmother Connie Graham, Kate’s daughters Lydia and Mary, his aunts and uncles and many cousins and friends in Vermont, Connecticut, Colorado, and elsewhere.
There will be no funeral service for Andy. Family and friends will gather in Norwich when we can all be safely together again, to remember Andy, to commit his ashes to eternity, and to lay him to rest next to his mother.
In Andy’s memory, please do something kind for a friend or someone in need.