A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Thank You Andy

The following article originally appeared in the August newsletter to clients of Kiley Advisors, LLC.  Reprinted with permission.

Andy Robertson died of a heart attack in his sleep on July, 8, 2016; he was 68 years old.  All of us who knew him share a tremendous sense of loss.  While we knew some things about Andy as the consummate construction man, we really never knew much about Andy the man; he was a quiet loner.

Several knew that he had been a senior officer at HA Lott and later at Manhattan, and that he had been a founder of Farnsworth & Lott and Robertson Building Strategies.  People also knew he had been a director at Houston AGC.  Any person who ever interacted with him found him to be warm and wise.  He had few peers in the Business Development and Pre-Construction arena.  And, a few knew that he had served in Vietnam.

It was only when his brother, Mark, stood before the podium at a memorial reception at the Houston AGC, with the symbolic folded American Flag resting upon it, that we learned the full measure of Andy the man.  That flag is given to families upon the death of a combat veteran, normally presented by an honor guard.  Mark, with pride and emotion, conveyed clearly that his older brother and our friend was a genuine war hero, who had served in the US Army during the worst of the Tet Offensive, one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War.

He served in Vietnam for a total of 11 months during which time he rose from private to Platoon Sargent, because of attrition.  His time was divided into two 5-month segments with a month of rest and recreation in Australia because of the intensity of the combat exposure.  For his service there he received 6 combat award citations: 1 Silver Star; 2 Bronze Stars with Valor; 2 Purple Hearts and the Infantry Combat Medal.  What a record, one that Andy would never talk or brag about.

We learned also that Andy was an anglophile who made frequent trips to London, a man of arts and letters, a collector of fine art and rare books.  He was a thoughtful uncle and friend, who loved exposing people to the arts and to the wonders of travel, and the lure of Las Vegas.  And that in his final months he was a real mentor to the younger team members at Humphries.

Andy believed in duty with honor.  His entire life is a testimony to that belief.  He honored his family, his companies and above all his country.  And he definitely honored our construction industry.  We stand taller because this hero was part of our team.

Thank you, Andy.