Frederick Anthony Andre
Fred was born in Prud’homme, Saskatchewan and moved with his family to the Yukon when he was around twelve years old. In his later teens he moved to Victoria and then back by his early twenties as the Yukon was calling him. He began working for the city as a grader operator early on and eventually became a senior operator of 25 years but because he briefly quit once in his early thirties, he was only recognized for fifteen years but in fact he was gone so little time that almost no one realized he even quit the grader work. While he worked full time at the City of Whitehorse driving the machine, he also had a wood cutting business for fifteen years with scars to prove it. One time in his thirties he had a tree branch puncture a major artery in his collarbone and in the middle of winter drove himself thirty miles into town with one hand on the steering wheel and the other suppressing blood flow, collapsing from blood loss at the front door of the hospital. Then in a couple of weeks only, he went back to cutting wood and ploughing roads.
He was ambitious and unusually driven. He built almost two medium sized houses and completely finished one which he made his home with his wife Shirly Ambrose for nine years (1992-2001). The first house was in Tagish and the second one he finished was in Marsh Lake. With help only from his wife, he managed to build the second place in only three years while working full time. No hired help. He was a man of great determination and fortitude and one of the most independently minded in his entire family. It was with great shock that he would become terminally ill in the prime of his life as he seemed so healthy and strong to everyone. From his late diagnosis to his death was only two years but he had tremendous courage through his suffering that mesmerized most everyone around him.
Freddy had an amazing green thumb and also built himself a large hothouse on his property at the lake and grew a variety of produce from it in the few years he had. Some people would recall how his sunflowers grew the full eleven feet to the peak of the roof each summer pushing their faces against the glass. The greenhouse however became an eventual boobytrap with the old salvaged window glass trying to fall out on our heads like in some horror flick but fortunately it held enough together for him while he was alive.
He had no rightful enemies and was fondly remembered for his sense of humor and vigorous yet gentle personality along with a remarkably colorful character. He was like a second generation pioneer type. He used to say he was darker in complexion from his Gypsy Hungarian background which no one has reason to disbelieve, for their old wagons were still parked in the prairie fields where he used to play around them before the Yukon. His sometimes stubbornness was more from his German side. His family was large and he was a middle child of five with the younger being his sister Judy and the oldest being brother Delmer. His parents were Louis and Vickie Andre who both outlived him.
Fred Andre was an uncommon common guy if you will. He was simple and yet occasionally complex in his thinking and he had a way of surprising people while just doing his own thing and trying to live. He was more colorful and interesting than so many and after his shaggy hippy days he cleaned up well and when you could see him better he became one of the most handsome fellows in all of the Yukon. No one who knew him could ever forget him.