Andy stood about 6 feet, five inches.
But spiritually, he was way taller.
He was the heart and soul of his weekly High School / College Sunday School class. He’d talk of and exude His Savior. He’d wake monthly on Saturday mornings about 4am to prepare with his wife Heidi our Men’s Breakfasts. He’d always say, “But how are YOU doing?” He wonderfully knew how to love one another. He’d bury us in massive bear hugs. He was the church grill-master. He . . . left behind a gaping hole.
He’s left behind his bride Heidi, daughter Cassidy (College Sophomore), son Carson (HS Junior), son Dillon (HS Freshman).
His company, Johnson Controls, is staggered at the leadership and brain drain loss.
We broadcasted this email to our church very early this morning:
Dear Loved Ones,
I’m so, so sorry to report this. It seems unthinkable, but our dear brother Andy Butz died, went home to be with the Lord late Saturday night, about 10:45pm.
He was up north at Camp Barakel with Carson and Dillon for the weekend — a father / son time together.
Saturday night, the speaker challenged the group to give their allegiance to Christ. He asked if any wanted to come forward to display their commitment to Jesus. Carson and Dillon both went forward and prayed with the speaker. Andy followed and prayed with tears with them both. He was thrilled.
Then they were off to the broom-ball ice rink for some competition.
When it was over, Andy was walking on a snowy path toward a distant cabin, and collapsed. This was about 10:45pm. Ken Cook was nearby, and attempted with others to revive him with CPR and other measures. Ken said, “We just couldn’t get a pulse.”
Eventually an ambulance and medical personnel arrived. But Andy was gone.
A number of brothers and sisters have spent time and even the night with Heidi and Cassidy back in Holland. Ken is arriving very early this morning to bring home Carson and Dillon.
For Sunday School, we’ve canceled our small group startup, and will have a prayer meeting in the main sanctuary.
AM worship will be at the normal time. The Lord gives, and He takes away; may the Name of the Lord be praised.
Andy was 46 years old.
Sincerely in Christ,
Mr. Kevin Filcik, a man of few, but always wise, encouraging and loving words, with elegance and grace, finished his prayer/eulogy, with these simple words of praise:
“…Andy was a friend to the friendless, father to the fatherless, husband to the widows…”
If I could do half of Mr. Filcik’s list of Andy’s lifelong, demonstrated love he showed, I’d die a happy man, and Linda (my loving wife) would have loved and lived with a great man).
We honor great men like Andy, by adopting, loving and protecting his widow and children, then taking their lives and work out our salvation in fear and trembling. See, Andy never tried to please his great, beautiful and loving wife, Heidi, (and she would never want that from Andy) or meet the emotional needs and/or strive to enhance or develop the self esteem of his children. Andy feared God. He walked with His Savior. Pleasing God will have help you love and serve people that the world will never know or understand.
Can we do less?
With heartfelt love, tears, admiration and respect, I’ll live out our brother Andy’s godly example, albeit feebly, and just maybe I’ll hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” from Andy’s savior, and through his example, and thankfully from other men of our church as well, I’ll be a better husband and friend to my loving wife Linda, and better brother and servant to my family found in Andy’s church, Harbor Reformed Baptist Church, which my family has called home since July 2008!
I want to honor Andy’s life by loving and fearing the God he served all these years. Can we do less?
May The Lord comfort and protect his family. It is most difficult to to lose someone who is bigger than life.My prayers and thoughts go for you. I met the Butz family when visiting Harbor Baptist. He was a friend and mentor to my son Matthew Potter.