Andy Lewis seemed to be everywhere. Wherever and whenever there was a civic issue, there was Andy. Listening, advocating, acting. The recent loss of Haverford Township’s dedicated public servant is especially devastating for the Brynford Civic Association.
It was Andy who urged re-forming the BCA after it lay dormant for years. It was Andy on the front lines fighting the dreaded billboards, attending every court hearing, meeting, and street rally. It was Andy donating his own resources to support initiatives, digging holes for new trees, inspecting troubled traffic areas, participating. How many of us did he talk into serving on a township committee or board?
It was Andy keeping after PECO, Aqua, and the bridge re-builders to finish their projects and make life easier for all of us. It was Andy getting a more convenient polling place for Haverford College, in spite of his initial misgivings. It was Andy ensuring all the leaves were picked up and informing us about the pandemic.
Little escaped Andy’s attention and involvement, from the big to the small issues. Republican recently turned independent, he was always for everyone. All over the township and beyond, you heard the phrase, “I was working on this with Andy Lewis.”
He followed a bright ethical star and tried to shed that light on others. He was a gentleman in the old-fashioned meaning of the word, which is all about civility. Commissioner elections can turn strangely fierce, but he tried to refrain from personal attacks even when forced to defend himself. He once asked this writer if he was being too nice about an issue. The reply was, “You have to be nice; that’s who you are.”
BCA President Gail Farally-Semerad noted, "Andy led by example. He 'leaned in' on every project he pioneered and supported many of us in our endeavors. He put the township and its citizenry as a priority and always delivered excellent outcomes, even in the face of strong opposition. Andy made an imprint on so many people, he will always be remembered fondly and missed daily.”
“It was a measure of Andy’s commitment to our community that he ran his life like an open book; if you needed him, he was there: morning, noon and night. He has so elevated the role of commissioner that it will be very hard to replace him,” said Bill Gustafson long-time Brynford resident and member of the BCA Steering committee.
As we mourn Andy’s untimely death, let us remember the lesson he taught us: that civic duty is an obligation and an honor. It was our honor to know Andy Lewis.
BCA Communications Director
Because of the ongoing pandemic, burial and graveside services will be for family only. Donations in Andy’s honor may be made to support research into Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the affliction that took his life. If you would like to make a contribution, please click here. The community is planning a memorial and fund-raising event for some time next fall. Suggestions for the event may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.